Voting in South Carolina

Voting in South Carolina

Summary

Federal & state elections on the ballot:  US Senator, 7 US House members, and State Senate and House members

Ballot measures:

The South Carolina Election Commission oversees all South Carolina elections.

About

Twitter

Contact

Email: Election Commission

Locations

Election Commission
1122 Lady Street, Suite 500
Columbia, SC 29201
Phone: (803) 734-9060
Fax: (803) 734-9366

Web

Election Commission, Twitter, Facebook

Registering to Vote

General Information

Who can register

To register in South Carolina you must:

  • be a citizen of the United States
  • be at least 18 years old on or before the next election
  • be a resident of South Carolina, and live in the county and precinct where you are registering
  • not be confined in any public prison resulting from a conviction of a crime
  • never have been convicted of a felony or offense against Election Day laws, or if previously convicted, have served your entire sentence, including probation or parole, or have received a pardon for the conviction
  • not be under a court order declaring you mentally incompetent

How to register

  1. Use our Register to Vote form below to fill out the National Voter Registration Form.
  2. Sign and date your form. This is very important!
  3. Mail or hand-deliver your completed form to the address we provide.
  4. Make sure you register before the voter registration deadline.

Election Day registration
N/A

Voting Rights restoration

If you have been convicted of a felony and have questions about whether you can register to vote, visit Restore Your Vote to determine your eligibility.

Registration Status (form)

New Registration (form)

Voting

General Information

Voting as a Student

Learn more from Campus Vote Project about voting for students.

Overseas and Military Voting

You are a Military or Overseas voter if you are in uniformed services, living overseas OR a spouse or dependent of a uniformed services voter. To get registered and vote, you can utilize Overseas Vote Foundation.

If you have additional questions about elections and voting overseas you can use our state specific elections official directory or contact the Overseas Vote Foundation.

Voting with Disabilities

Assistance in marking a ballot is allowed only if you are blind, illiterate or physically handicapped. If you are entitled to receive assistance you may choose anyone to assist except your employer, an agent of your employer, or an officer or agent of your union.

If you, because of physical handicap or age (65 or older,) cannot enter the polling place in which you are registered to vote, or are unable to stand in line to vote, you may vote outside that polling place in the closest available parking area utilizing the vehicle in which you have driven or have been driven to the polls.

Each precinct offers an accessible voting machine featuring an audio ballot, headphones and braille.

For more information, you can utilize the American Association of People With Disabilities (AAPD) resource.

Early Voting

You can vote early in person by visiting your county voter registration office and completing an application for absentee ballot. You may then vote absentee in person until 5pm on the day before the election.

Vote by Mail (Absentee)

Absentee ballot rules

You may vote by absentee ballot in South Carolina if you will be away from the county of your residence on Election Day AND one of the following:

  • you are a student away at college (or a spouse or dependent residing with the student);
  • you are serving with the American Red Cross or with the United Service Organization (USO) and are attached to and serving with the Armed Forces (or a spouse or dependent residing with such a person);
  • you are a government employee (or a spouse or dependent residing with such a person);
  • you are on vacation;
  • you live overseas.

You may vote by absentee ballot in South Carolina whether or not you will be away from the county of your residence if:

  • you are physically disabled;
  • your job prevents you from voting;
  • you are a certified poll watcher, poll manager, or county election official and you will be working on Election Day;
  • you are attending to sick or physically disabled persons;
  • you have been admitted to the hospital as an emergency patient on day of election or at least four days prior to Election Day;
  • there has been a death or funeral in your family within three days before Election Day;
  • you are on jury duty in state or federal court on Election Day;
  • you are 65 or older;
  • you are confined to a jail or pre-trial facility pending disposition of arrest or trial;
  • you are a member of the Armed Forces or Merchant Marines (or a spouse or dependent residing with such a person).

How to get Absentee ballot

  1. Use our Absentee Ballot Form below to prepare your application.
  2. Sign and date the form. This is very important!
  3. Return your completed application to your Local Election Office as soon as possible. We’ll provide the mailing address for you.
  4. All Local Election Offices will accept mailed or hand-delivered forms. If it’s close to the deadline, call and see if your Local Election Office will let you fax or email the application.
  5. Make sure your application is received by the deadline. Your application must actually arrive by this time — simply being postmarked by the deadline is insufficient.
  6. Please contact your Local Election Office if you have any further questions about the exact process.

What to do next

    1. Once you receive the ballot, carefully read and follow the instructions.
    2. Place your voted ballot in the accompanying “Ballot Herein” envelope, place that in the return envelope provided.
    3. Sign the return envelope in the presence of a witness.
    4. Mail your voted ballot back to the address indicated on the return envelope.
    5. Your voted ballot must arrive by the deadline or it will not be counted.

Absentee ballot application deadline

  • In Person: 1 day before Election Day.
  • By Mail: 4 days before Election Day.

Absentee ballot submission deadline

Election Day

Absentee Ballot (form)

Elections Alert (Form)

Pollling Information

Polling Place Locator

You can find your polling place by utilizing your state resource.

If you have further questions on your polling place location, please contact your county clerk.

Polling Place Hours

The polls will be open from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm.

Poll Worker Information

In order to be a poll worker in South Carolina, you must be:

  • Registered to vote in South Carolina
  • At least 18 years of age
  • A resident of the county 30 days prior to the election
  • Complete required training
  • Students 16 years or older may serve as poll manager’s assistant

You will be entitled to compensation. You can fill out the application to become a poll worker here!

To sign up, contact your local board of elections.

Election Commission

The mission of the State Election Commission is to ensure every eligible citizen has the opportunity to register to vote and participate in fair and impartial elections with the assurance that every vote will count.

Commission Members
John Wells, Chair

JoAnne Day

Clifford J. Edler

Linda McCall

Scott Moseley

Five members, at least one of whom shall be a member of the majority political party and at least one member of whom shall be a member of the largest minority political party represented in the General Assembly, are appointed by the Governor for four year terms. The State Election Commission holds monthly meetings which the public are invited to attend.

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