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2016 General Election: November 8, 2016

Voter Registration Deadline: October 8, 2016

For more 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.

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 deadline for this year’s General Election is Saturday, October 8.

Except for a person who was discharged or separated from his or her 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 voter registration page on the South Carolina Election Commission’s website or call 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 prison term for a criminal conviction; 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:

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

Any registered South Carolina voter in one of the following categories can request a mail-in absentee ballot if they absent from their county of residence on Election Day during the hours the polls are open:

  • Students, their spouses, and dependents residing with them;
  • People serving with the American Red Cross or with the USO who are attached to the Armed Forces, their spouses, and dependents residing with them;
  • Governmental employees, their spouses, and dependents residing with them;
  • People on vacation; and
  • Overseas citizens

Voters (or their near relative or legal guardian) can obtain an absentee ballot application on the South Carolina Election Commission’s website.

Deadlines

  • An application for an absentee ballot that is submitted by mail must be received by the voter’s county board of elections no later than 5:00 p.m. four days before the election.
  • An application for absentee ballot that is submitted in person be accepted until 5:00 p.m. the day before the election.
  • The voter must return the ballot to the county voter registration office so that it is received by no later than 7:00 p.m. on the day of the election. 

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 him/her 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 his or her 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 his or her 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.

Deadlines

  • An application for an absentee ballot for the General Election must be received by October 8, 2016.

A ballot for the General Election must be received by 5 pm on the second day after the election.

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 he or she has been convicted of a felony and has 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, he or she 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 to Field

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

For more information for student voters, visit the Student Voting Guide from the Brennan Center for Justice.

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