Last Updated: October 2020
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. For more information on in person early absentee voting times and locations, contact your County Elections Office.
How to Find Your Polling Place: Visit the South Carolina Election Commission’s website: Find My Polling Place. Please note that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many polling locations have changed or closed. Please confirm your polling location before heading to the polls to vote by checking both the South Carolina Election Commission’s website as well as your county elections office’s website or social media account.
Registration Deadlines: You must register 30 days prior to the General Election. The voter registration deadlines for the General Election are as follows:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
If You Want to Vote Early
The South Carolina legislature has expanded early voting to all registered South Carolina voters.
You should confirm the early absentee in person voting locations and times with your County Elections Office. You may find the contact information for your County Elections Office on the South Carolina Election Commission’s website here.
If You Want to Vote by Absentee Ballot in the November 2020 General Election
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all registered South Carolina voters will be permitted to vote by absentee ballots in person or by mail for the general election. Unlike in the primary, you will still need to have your ballot witnessed.
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;
- 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 produce 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.
If you moved to…
- …another residence within your precinct, you can vote at your polling place but must first fill out a change of address form.
- …a different precinct within your county, you are eligible to vote a failsafe ballot (see below).
- …another county within 30 days of the election, you are eligible to vote a failsafe ballot (see below).
- …another county prior to 30 days before the election, you had to register by the deadline and are not eligible to vote.
Two Options for Voting Failsafe:
- Vote at the polling place in your previous precinct using a limited, failsafe ballot including only federal, statewide and countywide offices.
- Go to the voter registration office in the county in which you currently reside, update your address, and vote a full ballot there.
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.
Documents are being updated.