News & Press Releases

Statement from SEC on Addressing Recent Concerns Over Non-U.S. Citizens Registering to Vote in South Carolina

Not on Our Watch

COLUMBIA, SC (April 30, 2024) - The South Carolina State Election Commission (SEC) has received several questions and concerns about non-U.S. citizens registering to vote in South Carolina. State law requires a person to be a U.S. citizen in order to be eligible to register in South Carolina. This is the core foundation of election integrity and the SEC remains steadfast in protecting our democracy and the sanctity of every vote.

The SEC is actively auditing voter data through the Department of Homeland Security’s Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) Program database to ensure that only U.S. citizens are included on the active list of registered voters. Regardless of the method of registration, no voter may be registered in South Carolina without signing an oath swearing that they are a citizen of the United States. The auditing process ensures that any bad actors are removed from voter rolls and held accountable through state and federal election law statutes. 

To date, the SEC has not received any specific information that non-U.S. citizens are fraudulently being registered to vote in our state. 

“The SEC will not allow fraudulent voter registration to happen on our watch,” said Howie Knapp, Executive Director of the SEC. “Should we receive or discover information that non-U.S. citizens are being registered to vote in our state, we will immediately report to our law enforcement partners for investigation and prosecution to the fullest extent of the law. The SEC will continue to be vigilant in following our state’s election laws to ensure elections in South Carolina are conducted with integrity.”

To learn more, download a one-page sheet for facts about voter registration in South Carolina or visit

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