Upcoming Election dates & registration deadlines
South Carolina Voting Information
- Absentee Ballot Process
- Campaign Finance Information
- Candidate and Ballot Measure Information
- Early Voting
- Election Dates
- Eligibility Requirements
- ID Needed for Voter Registration
- ID Needed for Voting?
- Overseas and Military Voters
- Poll Worker Information
- Polling Place Hours
- Polling Place Locator
- Provisional Voting
- Provisions for Voters with Disabilities
- Registration Deadline
- Time Off To Vote
- Verify Voter Registration
- Voting Machines
Absentee Ballot Process
You may vote by absentee ballot for any of the following reasons:
- You are on vacation or outside the county on Election Day
- You are a member of the Uniformed Services or Merchant Marine, and your spouse and dependents who reside with you are also eligible
- You are, for reasons of employment, not able to vote on election day
- You are physically disabled
- You are 65 years of age or older
- You are serving as a juror in state or federal court on election day
- You are admitted to the hospital as an emergency patient on the day of election or within a four-day period before the election
- You are confined to a jail or pre-trial facility pending disposition of arrest or trail
- You are a certified poll watcher, poll manager and county election official working on election day
- You are a student attending school outside your county of residence or are a spouse or dependent of such a student
- You are a person serving with the American Red Cross or with the United Service Organizations who are attached to and serving with the Armed Forces outside your county of residence or a spouse or dependent of such a person
- You are a Government employee serving outside your county of residence on Election Day or a spouse or dependent of such a person
- You are a person with a death or funeral in the family within three days before the election
- You are an overseas voter
- You are a person attending to a sick or physically disabled person
To request an absentee ballot by mail, request the application and either email, mail or fax your county voter registration office. You will then be mailed an application. Complete the application, sign and return the completed application to you county voter registration office by 5pm on the 4th day before the election. You may return the application in person or by mail, email or fax. You will then be mailed an absentee ballot.
To check the status of your absentee ballot, please use your state's tool.
Campaign Finance Information
Candidate and Ballot Measure Information
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.
The next election date is Tuesday, August 13, 2019 (Local Elections). The registration deadline is Sunday, July 14, 2019.
Contact your local Board of Elections for more information.
To be eligible to vote in South Carolina you must be:
- A United States citizen
- At least 18 years old on or before the election
- A resident of South Carolina
- Not under a court order declaring you mentally incompetent
- Not confined in any public prison resulting from a conviction of a crime
- Not convicted of a felony or offense against the election laws or if previously convicted, have served the entire sentence, including probation or parole, or have received a pardon for the conviction
ID Needed for Voter Registration
If you are registering for the first time by mail, you must attach a copy of a current valid photo ID or a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck or other government document that shows your name and address in the county where you wish to vote. If you do not provide this identification information by mail, you will be required to provide it when you vote.
ID Needed for Voting?
You will be asked to show one of the following Photo IDs on Election Day:
- South Carolina Driver's License
- ID Card Issued by South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles
- South Carolina Voter Registration Card with Photo
- Federal Military ID
- U.S. Passport
If you do not have one of the above photo IDs, you can get one for free by:
- Registered voters can get a voter registration card with a photo from their county voter registration and elections office by providing their date of birth and the last four digits of their Social Security number.
- Get a DMV ID card at a local DMV office. To see what documentation is required click here.
If you do not have a photo ID on Election Day you may be able to vote a provisional ballot after showing your non-photo voter registration card. You must have a reasonable impediment to obtaining a photo ID in order to vote the provisional ballot. Reasonable impediments include:
- Religious objection to being photographed
- Disability or illness
- Work schedule
- Lack of transportation
- Lack of birth certificate
- Family responsibilities
- Any other obstacle you find reasonable
To vote under the reasonable impediment exception:
- Present your current, non-photo registration card at the polling place
- Sign an affidavit stating why you cannot obtain a photo ID
- Cast a provisional ballot that will be counted unless the county election commission has reason to believe your affidavit is false.
If you do not have a photo ID and do not have a reasonable impediment to obtaining one, or you forgot to bring it with you to the polls, you may still vote a provisional ballot. However, for your vote to be counted you must provide one of the photo IDs to the county election commission prior to certification of the election (usually the Thursday or Friday after the election).
Overseas and Military Voters
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.
Poll Worker Information
In order to be a poll worker in South Carolina:
- You must be registered to vote in South Carolina
- You must be at least 18 years of age
- You must be a resident of the county 30 days prior to the election
- You must 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.
Polling Place Hours
The polls will be open from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm.
Polling Place Locator
Provisional Ballots are counted before the Friday after a General Election or the Thursday after a Primary or Runoff Election. You can check the status of your provisional ballot online.
You are entitled to cast a provisional ballot if:
- A poll manager or any voter has reason to believe that you might be ineligible to vote
- Your name does not appear on the voter registration rolls
All provisional ballots are kept separate and not counted on election night. It will be counted if your registration is verified. You will be given written instructions on the time and place of the provisional ballot hearings and, if the voter registration office can determine you were registered, the provisional ballot will be counted.
Provisions for Voters 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.
For more information, you can utilize the American Association of People With Disabilities (AAPD) resource.
You must be registered 30 days prior to Election Day. Registration by mail applications must be postmarked at least 30 days prior to that particular election to be eligible.
There is no length of residency requirement in South Carolina in order to register to vote.
You can now register to vote online! You must have a South Carolina driver's license or DMV ID in order to complete this form. You can register to vote any time online, however, you must complete the form before the 30 day deadline in order to vote in the next election. If you register online after 30 days before the election you'll be able to vote in the following election.
Time Off To Vote
Time off to vote is subject to the employer. South Carolina state law does not require employers to grant time off to vote for employees.
Verify Voter Registration
To verify your voter registration status please use your state's voter verification tool.
The voting system used in South Carolina is DRE. Optical Scan machines are used for mail-out absentee ballots.
Direct Recording Electronic (DRE): This is the newest kind of system in use in the U.S. All the information about who and what you are voting for is on an electronic screen like a TV or computer screen.
There are many variations of DREs because lots of companies are inventing new ones, and many cities, counties and states are trying them out. Usually, after you have signed in, the poll workers will give you a card that you slide into a device to start your voting session.
Some of these devices will show all of the candidates and ballot choices on one big screen. Often, with these big screen devices you push a button next to the name of the candidate you want to vote for (or yes or no on a ballot measure). On other DREs, the screen is set up to show pages. On each screen or page, there will probably be one thing to vote on. For example, on one screen or page, you might vote for president. Then you might move to the next page to vote for senator. Often these small-screen devices have a touch screen, where you touch the screen next to the name of the person you want to vote for. Other devices have a key pad. And some have a keyboard, so you can write in the name of someone you want to vote for.
You let the system know you are finished voting by pushing a button, touching the screen or entering something on a keypad.
You can learn more about voting systems by checking out the Elections Assistance Commission's (EAC) resource.