South Carolina Election Information

Upcoming Elections in Your State

November 3 – General Election

Voter Registration Deadlines & Important Dates
  • October 2: Deadline to register to vote in person by 5:00 pm
  • October 4: Deadline to register to vote online or by fax by 11:59 pm
  • October 5: Deadline to register by mail. Must be postmarked by October 5.
  • October 24: Deadline to request an absentee ballot by 5:00 pm. State strongly recommends applying at least one week prior to election in order to receive ballot.
  • November 2: Deadline to vote absentee in person by 5:00 pm
  • November 3: Deadline to return a postmarked completed absentee ballot
  • November 5: Deadline for military and overseas citizens by mail ballot return. Ballot must be mailed no later than 7:00 pm on November 3.
  • October 5 – November 2: Early voting

Polls open from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm

For more 2020 election information, visit the South Carolina Election Commission website.

Have questions or need more information? Call 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683)!

When You Can Vote

Election Day:

Polls are open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Early voting: Registered voters may go in person to their county board of elections office (or an alternative location) to vote an absentee ballot.  One-stop absentee voting ends at 5:00 p.m. on the day before the election.  You can find the locations and times of early voting polling places at the South Carolina Election Commission’s website.

You can find the locations and times of early voting polling places South Carolina Election Commission’s website.

Have questions or need more information? Call 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683)!

Where You Can Vote

How to Find Your Polling Place:

Visit the polling place page on the South Carolina Election Commission’s website.

Have questions or need more information? Call 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683)!

Registering to Vote

Registration Deadlines: You must register 30 days prior to the General Election. The voter registration deadlines for the Presidential Preference Primary, Statewide Primary and General Election are as follows:

2020 Presidential Primary: February 29, 2020

  • Primary In Person Voter Registration Deadline: 5:00 p.m. January 30, 2020
  • Primary Online, Email and Fax Voter Registration Deadline: January 30, 2020
  • Primary Mail-In Voter Registration Deadline: Postmarked, January 30, 2020

2020 Statewide Primary: June 9, 2020

  • Primary In Person Voter Registration Deadline: 5:00 p.m. May 8, 2020
  • Primary Online, Email and Fax Voter Registration Deadline: May 10, 2020
  • Primary Mail-In Voter Registration Deadline: Postmarked, May 11, 2020

2020 General Election: November 3, 2020

  • General Election In-Person Voter Registration Deadline: 5:00 p.m. October 2, 2020
  • General Election Online, Email and Fax Voter Registration Deadline: October 4, 2020
  • General Election Mail-In Voter Registration Deadline: Postmarked, October 5, 2020

Except for a person who was discharged or separated from their service in the Armed Forces and arrived home too late to register, South Carolina does not have same day registration.

How to Check Your Registration: Visit the South Carolina Election Commission’s Check My Voter Registration website or call 1-866-OUR-VOTE.

 

Registration Eligibility:

In order to register in South Carolina you must:

  • be a citizen of the United States;
  • be a resident of South Carolina, this county, and this polling precinct;
  • be at least 18 years old on or before election day;
  • not be 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;
  • not be serving a term of imprisonment resulting from a conviction of a crime; and
  • not have been declared mentally incompetent by a court.

There is no duration of residence requirement in South Carolina; you may register the first day that you move to the state.

 

How to Register: South Carolina residents may register online, in person, or by mail/fax/email.

Online

In order to register to vote online, you must have either a South Carolina’s Driver’s License or a DMV ID. Applicants can apply to register on the registration page of the South Carolina Election Commission’s Website. Applicants must have an updated address with the DMV.

 

In Person

You may register to vote in person at your county’s board of voter registration whose location can be found at your county’s contact information page.

 

By Mail/Fax/Email

In order to register by mail, fax, or email, you must obtain a registration form by:

  • Downloading a mail-in form from the South Carolina Election Commission’s Website. Mail-in applications must be postmarked by the deadline.
  • Sending the form to your county of board of voter registration at the email address, fax number, or mailing address found on your county’s contact information page.

Identification Required for Registration: If you are registering by mail/fax/email for the first time in this county, you must attach to your registration form 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 this county. If you do not provide this information with your form, you must provide it when you vote.

Have questions or need more information? Call 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683)!

Voting Early & by Absentee Ballot

If You Want to Vote Early

You can find the locations and times of early voting polling places at the absentee voting page.

If You Want to Vote Absentee in the November 3, 2020 General Election:

H.5305/R.149, signed into law on September 16, 2020, made significant changes to absentee voting rules for the November 3, 2020 General Election.

  • All South Carolina registered voters are now qualified to vote absentee under the “State of Emergency” reason. “State of Emergency” does not apply to any other election.
  • South Carolina voters or their near relative can obtain an absentee ballot application on the South Carolina Election Commission’s website.
  • Deadline to apply for an absentee by mail ballot:
      • Applications for absentee-by-mail ballots must be received by the voter registration office by 5:00 p.m., Saturday, October 24
      • An Authorized Representative acting on behalf of a voter who is unable to go to the polls due to an illness or disability may return the application by 5:00 p.m., Friday, October 30. 

Witness Signature

At this time, a court has ruled you do not need a witness signature on your absentee return envelope for your ballot to count.  However, it is possible this court ruling could change.  The safest practice at this time is to have your signature witnessed. The public will be notified of any changes to the witness requirement through the media and at scvotes.gov.

How to Vote Absentee in the November 3, 2020 General Election

​In Person

Step 1: Visit your county voter registration office or extension office.

  • Begins Monday, October 5.
  • Ends 5:00 p.m., Monday, November 2.

Step 2: Complete an application.

Step 3. Cast your ballot.

By Mail

Step 1:  Get your application (available now).

Get the application online.    You must be able to print your application.

OR

Call or email your county voter registration office.  You will be mailed an application.

  • A member of a voter’s immediate family or Authorized Representative can also request the application (see Authorized Representative below).

Step 2:  Complete, sign and return the application to your county voter registration office.

  • Return by mail, email, fax or personal delivery.
  • Return as soon as possible and no later than 5:00 p.m., Saturday, October 24.
  • An Authorized Representative must return the application by 5:00 p.m., Friday, October 30 (see Authorized Representative below).

Step 3:  Receive your absentee ballot in the mail.

Step 4:  Vote and return the ballot to your county voter registration office or extension office.

  • Be sure to sign the voter’s oath.
  • A court has determined a witness signature is not required, but that could change. The SC Election Commission is suggesting that voters obtain a witness signature if they are able to do si in the event further court orders require a witness signature.
  • Return your ballot either by mail, personal delivery or authorized returnee (see Authorized Returnee below).
  • Your ballot must be received by no later than 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 3, 2020.
  • If returning your ballot by mail, mail it as soon as possible, preferably at least a week before election day, to help ensure timely delivery. If you are mailing your ballot from out of state, you should factor in the time it will take for the ballot to reach your county registration office.
  • You can check the status of your absentee ballot at scVOTES.gov.

Authorized Representative

  • An Authorized Representative (Representative) is a registered voter who acts on behalf of a voter who is unable to go to the polls because of either:
    • An illness or disability resulting in the voter’s confinement in a hospital, sanatorium, nursing home, or place of residence; or
    • A handicap rendering the voter unable to vote at his polling place due to existing architectural barriers that deny him physical access to the polling places, voting booth, or voting apparatus or machinery.
  • Candidates and paid campaign workers may not serve as a Representative except for immediate family members.
  • A Representative must complete the Authorized Representative form.
  • A Representative may:
    • Request a voter’s application.
    • Return the application through 5:00 p.m., Friday, October 30.
  • The ballot will be mailed to the voter.

​Authorized Returnee

  • An Authorized Returnee (Returnee) is a person who can be authorized by any voter to return the voter’s absentee by mail ballot.
  • Candidates and paid campaign workers may not serve as a Returnee except for immediate family members.
  • The voter and Returnee must complete the Authorization to Return Absentee Ballot form.  The Returnee must present the form when returning the ballot.

Have questions or need more information? Call 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683)!

Identification Requirements

Identification Requirements to Cast a Ballot

A Photo ID is required to vote in South Carolina. The ID must be valid and current. Acceptable forms of ID include:

  • South Carolina Driver’s License;
  • Photo ID issued by the DMV;
  • Passport;
  • Photo Military ID issued by the federal government; and
  • South Carolina voter registration card with photograph.

If you have one of these forms of photo ID, but do not have the identification with you, you may leave, get your photo ID, and return to vote by regular ballot.  Otherwise, you may vote by provisional ballot.  Your provisional ballot will ONLY count if you show photo ID to the election commissioner prior to certification of the election (usually Thursday or Friday after the election).

There are two primary exceptions to the photo identification requirement:

  • A voter who cannot produce one of the acceptable forms of photo ID due to a religious objection.
  •  A voter who cannot product one of the acceptable forms of photo ID due to an impediment that prevents them from obtaining one.
  • In either case, the voter may complete an affidavit at the polling place and cast a provisional ballot.

VoteRiders has created South Carolina voter ID info cards in English and in Spanish.

Have questions or need more information? Call 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683)!

If You Have Moved Within Your State

 Moving within the Same County

A voter has two options:

  1. Go to the voter registration office, complete a change of address form, and vote a full ballot.
  2. Go to their previous polling place and vote a provisional ballot after completing change of address form.

Moving Between Counties

A voter has two options:

  1. Go to the voter registration office, complete a change of address form, and vote a full ballot.
  2. Go to their previous polling place and vote a provisional ballot after completing change of address form.

Have questions or need more information? Call 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683)!

If You Are in the Military or Are an Overseas Voter

Registering and Requesting an Absentee Ballot

Overseas and military voters (and their dependents) may request an absentee ballot under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA).  The voter can get step-by-step assistance and forms at the South Carolina page of the Federal Voting Assistance Program website.

Receiving an Absentee Ballot

UOCAVA voters may request an absentee ballot by completing the Federal Post Card Application. This application can be filled out online at the South Carolina page of the Federal Voting Assistance Program website or an application can be downloaded from the website and brought to the voter’s local election office.

Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot

The Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB) is a back-up ballot that can be used by UOCAVA voters.  You can use this FWAB whether you are located inside or outside the United States (including APO and FPO addresses), provided that you are away from your voting residence for service-related activities.  You must apply for a regular ballot early enough for your local election officials to receive the request at least 5 days before the election.  If you do not receive your regular ballot in time, you may use the FWAB.  To request a FWAB, complete the form online at the South Carolina page of the Federal Voting Assistance Program website or a form can be downloaded from the website and brought to the voter’s local election office.

Have questions or need more information? Call 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683)!

If You Have a Felony Conviction

A citizen cannot vote in South Carolina if they have been convicted of a felony and have not fully completed the terms of the felony sentence, including completion of probation, parole and payment of restitution. Once the citizen has fully completed the terms of the felony sentence, they may register again to vote and vote a regular ballot.

Have questions or need more information? Call 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683)!

Election Protection Materials

FAQ

Top Issues

For more information for voters with disabilities, find a National Disability Rights Network partner in your area.

Have questions or need more information? Call 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683)!