SC bill would reduce voter notices in local papers

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Lawmakers have given initial approval to a bill to allow the South Carolina Election Commission and local governments to save money by publishing fewer, shorter voter notices in local newspapers.

The bill approved Thursday by a House Judiciary subcommittee would move most of the information in those legal advertisements from print to the state Election Commission's Web site. Smaller ads in newspapers would direct readers to the site.

The shortened ads still would have to give the date, time, type of election and deadline for registering to vote. The ads would be run in papers once, rather than twice, before an election.

The South Carolina Press Association opposes the measure, saying it would disenfranchise voters who lack Internet access.

Supporters say newspapers cover elections in their normal coverage.

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