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Election Administration in South Carolina

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Election Types and Dates

Election Dates

Upcoming Primary Elections

  • Republican Presidential Preference Primary: February 20, 2016
  • Democratic Presidential Preference Primary: February 27, 2016
  • Primary for federal, state, and county offices: June 14, 2016
  • Primary runoff for federal, state, and county offices (where necessary): June 28, 2016
Source (confirmed on: 2015-11-24)

S.C. Code § 7-13-40 (Justia website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-11-20 (Justia website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-13-15 (Justia website) [link]

2016 Election Calendar [link]

S.C. Code § 7-13-15 (state website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-11-20 (state website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-13-40 (state website) [link]

Upcoming General Elections

November 8, 2016.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-11-24)

S.C. Code § 7-13-10 (Justia website) [link]

2016 Election Calendar [link]

S.C. Code § 7-13-10 (state website) [link]

How is a nominee determined?

How is a nominee determined (caucus, primary, convention)?

Political parties may decide whether to nominate their candidates by primary election or convention. (Typically, the Republican and Democratic parties nominate their candidates by primary election.)

Source (confirmed on: 2015-11-24)

S.C. Code § 7-11-10 (state website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-11-10 (Justia website) [link]

Political Party Affiliation

Can voters register by party in the state?

No.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-11-24)

South Carolina Voter Registration Form [link]

Greenville County Elections Website [link]

Must voters be registered with a political party if they would like to vote on that party’s candidates in a partisan primary election (i.e., are primaries open or closed)?

No, primary elections are open and voters may choose at the polls or when applying for an absentee ballot which party's primary election they wish to participate in. After declaring which party's primary election they wish to vote, the voter can vote only on those candidates who appear on that political party's ballot.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-11-24)

S.C. Code § 7-15-340 (state website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-13-1010 (state website) [link]

S.C. Code. § 7-13-1040 (Justia website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-15-340 (Justia website) [link]

S.C. Code. § 7-13-1040 (state website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-9-20 (Justia website) [link]

Greenville County Elections Website [link]

S.C. Code § 7-9-20 (state website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-13-1010 (Justia website) [link]

South Carolina Poll Managers Handbook, p. 18 [link]

Voter Registration

Who Can Vote?

What are the state's residency requirements for voters?

To register to vote, a person must live in the county and polling precinct where the person seeks to register.

South Carolina law does not specifically address homeless applicants. The state voter registration application contains a map for applicants to indicate the area in which the person lives with reference to roads and landmarks such as schools, churches, stores, etc.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-02-18)

South Carolina Voter Registration Mail Application [link]

S.C. Code § 7-5-120 (Justia website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-5-120 (state website) [link]

Can someone pre-register to vote if they will not be 18 years old by the next election? If so, who?

Yes, any voter who will be 18 years old on Election Day may register to vote beginning 150 days before Election Day.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-11-24)

S.C. Code § 7-5-180 (state website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-5-180 (Justia website) [link]

Can 17-year-olds who will be 18-year-olds by the general election vote in the primary?

Yes.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-11-24)

S.C. Code § 7-9-20 (state website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-9-20 (Justia website) [link]

Does the state take away the right to vote from persons convicted of certain crimes? If so, what crimes?

Yes, any person who is convicted of a felony or an election law offense loses the right to vote.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-11-30)

S.C. Const. art. II, § 8 [link]

S.C. Code § 7-5-120(B) (state website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-5-120(B) (Justia website) [link]

If people lose the right to vote because of a criminal conviction, can they regain the right to vote? How?

A person who loses the right to vote due to a conviction will regain the right to vote after completing their sentence, including any period of probation or parole. Such a person can also regain the right to vote by being pardon. After regaining the right to vote, the person must register to vote, even if they were registered before their conviction.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-11-30)

S.C. Code § 7-5-120(B) (state website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-5-120(B) (Justia website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-3-20(C)(4)(c) (state website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-3-20(C)(4)(c) (Justia website) [link]

Voter Registration Options

Is fully online voter registration available? (i.e., can voters fill in and submit an online application without printing and signing it?)

Yes, voters who have a valid South Carolina driver's license or state ID card issued by state's Department of Motor Vehicles may register to vote online here..

Source (confirmed on: 2015-11-30)

S.C. Code § 7-5-185 (Justia website) [link]

South Carolina Online Voter Registration Application [link]

S.C. Code § 7-5-185 (state website) [link]

Does the state accept the National Mail Registration Form?

Yes. Click here to download the form.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-11-30)

National Mail Voter Registration Form [link]

Is the state required to register voters at public assistance agencies and driver's license agencies, per the National Voter Registration Act of 1993?

Yes.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-11-30)

U.S. Department of Justice website [link]

Student-Specific Rules

Does the state have specific rules on students registering to vote or voting?

Students attending college may register to vote in the community where they lived before attending college or, if they intend to live in their college community indefinitely, at their college address. College students registering using their campus address must register under the physical address of their dormitory, not a P.O. Box.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-11-30)

South Carolina State Election Commission website [link]

1984 Op Atty Gen, No. 84-41, p 90 [link]

Voter Registration Deadlines

When is the voter registration deadline?

30 days before Election Day. However, persons that are discharged or separated from the Armed Services and return home after the 30th day before Election Day may register anytime before 5:00pm on Election Day.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-11-30)

S.C. Code § 7-5-150 (Justia website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-5-150 (state website) [link]

How is the deadline enforced for mailed applications?

Postmark - A mailed voter registration application must be postmarked by the voter registration deadline. If the postmark date is missing or illegible, the application will be accepted if it is received no later than 5 days after the voter registration deadline.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-11-30)

S.C. Code § 7-5-155 (state website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-5-155 (Justia website) [link]

How is the deadline enforced for online applications?

Receipt - A voter registration application submitted online must be received by the State Election Commission by the voter registration deadline.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-11-30)

S.C. Code § 7-5-185(B)(1) (Justia website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-5-185(B)(1) (state website) [link]

Voter Registration Drives

Does the state require organizations conducting voter registration drives to register?

No.

Are there restrictions on getting voter registration forms?

South Carolina law does not address that issue. The State Election Commission must furnish a sufficient number of application forms to the county boards of voter registration and elections and voter registration agencies specified by state law so that distribution of the application forms may be made to various locations throughout the counties and mailed to persons requesting them. County boards of voter registration and elections must distribute application forms to various locations in their respective counties, including city halls and public libraries, where they must be readily available to the public.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-02-18)

S.C. Code § 7-5-155 (state website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-5-155 (Justia website) [link]

Does the state require any training in order to conduct voter registration drives?

No.

Does the state have restrictions on who may help others register to vote?

No.

Does the state have restrictions on paying drive workers, or additional rules related to payment?

South Carolina law does not address this issue.

Are there restrictions on the voter registration drive offering something of value to a person in exchange for completing a voter registration application?

Federal law states that whoever "pays or offers to pay or accepts payment either for registration to vote or for voting shall be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned not more than five years." At least one federal appellate court has interpreted "payment" as "intended to include forms of pecuniary value offered or given directly to an individual voter, and indicated the value should be based on "an assessment of the monetary worth of an item from the perspective of the voter receiving the item." That case held that food vouchers could be "payment."

Another example is California's Secretary of State's interpretation of the federal law to mean that "Any type of incentive is considered 'payment,' even things as seemingly innocent as cookies or admission to an entertainment event."

Source (confirmed on: 2016-02-18)

52 U.S.C. § 10307(c) [link]

California Secretary of State's Guide to Voter Registration Drives, p. 11 [link]

United States v. Garcia, 719 F.2d 99, 102-103 (5th Cir. 1983) [link]

Must the registration drive worker sign the completed voter registration application, and must the drive or canvasser place other information on applications?

No.

Does the state have a rule requiring a receipt or other tracking information to be provided to the applicant?

No.

Are there restrictions on copying completed voter registration applications prior to submitting them to the election official, or other restrictions on data entry or disclosure?

South Carolina law does not address this issue.

Is there a time limit for voter registration groups to submit the voter registration applications they collect?

No, but applications must be received or postmarked by 30 days before the election for the applicant to be eligible to vote in that election.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-02-18)

S.C. Code § 7-5-150 (Justia website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-5-150 (state website) [link]

Same-Day Registration

Can voters register and vote on the same day (i.e., does the state offer same-day registration)?

No.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-11-30)

S.C. Code § 7-5-150 (Justia website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-5-150 (state website) [link]

Voters Who Have Moved or Changed Their Name

Can people vote if they moved, but did not update their voter registration with their new address?

Yes. If a person moved to a new address within the same precinct, and the person did not notify the County Board of Voter Registration and Elections of the move before Election Day, the person may vote at that precinct's polling place. The person will have to submit a written or oral affirmation of their address change to an election official at the polling place.

If a person moved to a new address outside of the precinct but within the same county, or if the person moved to a new address outside of the county no later than 30 days before Election Day, and the person did not notify the County Board of Voter Registration and Elections of the move before Election Day, the person may choose to vote in either of the following ways:

  • The person may vote a provisional ballot at their former polling place. The provisional ballot will contain only federal, statewide, countywide, and municipalwide races. The person will have to submit an oral or written affirmation of the address change to an election official at that polling place. OR
  • The person may correct their voter registration record and vote at the office of the County Board of Voter Registration and Elections of the new county where they live. The person must submit a written affirmation of the address change to election officials at the office.
Source (confirmed on: 2015-11-30)

S.C. Code § 7-5-440 (Justia website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-5-440 (state website) [link]

Can people vote if they have changed their name, but did not update their voter registration with their new name?

No.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-12-08)

Interview with South Carolina State Election Commission's office [link]

Language, Literacy, and Disability Access

Language and Literacy Access

Does the state have any places that must provide election materials in languages other than English, per Section 203 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965?

No.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-11-30)

Voting Rights Act Amendments of 2006, Determinations Under Section 203, 76 Fed. Reg. 63602 (Oct. 13, 2011) [link]

Does the state have any other rules about providing election materials in languages other than English?

No.

Who can help a voter with reading assistance or translation if they can't vote on their own?

Under Section 208 of the federal Voting Rights Act, any voter who requires assistance to vote due to inability to read or write may be given assistance by a person of the voter's choice, other than the voter's employer, an agent of that employer, or an officer or agent of the voter's union.

Under South Carolina law, a person who cannot read or write English can receive assistance voting at the polls by notifying one of the precinct managers of their need for assistance. The voter may be accompanied by an assistant of the voter's choice, other than the voter's employer, an agent of that employer, or an officer or agent of the voter's union. Additionally, the chairman of the polling place's managers must appoint a poll manager to accompany the voter and the voter's assistance when voting. However, the voter may choose not to accompanied by a poll manager if the voter's assistant is a family member or if the voter is blind.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-11-30)

52 U.S.C. § 10508 (federal law) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-13-770(A) (Justia website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-13-770(A) (state website) [link]

Disability Access

Who can help a voter with a disability if they can't vote on their own?

Under Section 208 of the federal Voting Rights Act, any voter who requires assistance to vote by reason of inability to read or write may be given assistance by a person of the voter's choice, other than the voter's employer, an agent of that employer, or an officer or agent of the voter's union.

Under South Carolina law, a person who has a disability can receive assistance voting at the polls by notifying one of the precinct managers of their need for assistance. The voter may be accompanied by an assistant of the voter's choice, other than the voter's employer, an agent of that employer, or an officer or agent of the voter's union. Additionally, the chairman of the polling place's poll managers must appoint a poll manager to accompany the voter and the voter's assistance when voting. However, the voter may choose not to accompanied by a poll manager if the voter's assistant is a family member or if the voter is blind.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-11-30)

52 U.S.C. § 10508 (federal law) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-13-770(A) (Justia website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-13-770(A) (state website) [link]

Does the state have other rules related to access for persons with disabilities?

Curbside voting is available in South Carolina. This means that if a voter's age or disability prevents the voter from entering the polling place or standing in line to vote, the voter may stay in their car and vote. Two poll managers will bring the voter a paper ballot that the voter may mark in their car and return to the poll managers. Poll watchers may accompany the poll managers. Any person may be in the car when the voter casts their ballot other than the voter's employer, an agent of that employer, or an officer or agent of the voter's union.

Alternatively, voters with disabilities may vote by absentee ballot, even if they will be present in the county on Election Day.

Additionally, if a voter cannot sign a voter registration application due to a physical disability, the voter may make their mark on the voter registration application in the presence of a clerk or member of the County Board of Voter Registration and Elections.

Finally, persons who have been adjudicated mentally incompetent by a court of competent jurisdiction cannot vote.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-11-30)

S.C. Code § 7-15-320(B)(1) (absentee ballots) (state website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-13-771 (curbside voting) (state website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-5-120(B)(1) (incompetence) (Justia website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-5-210 (registration mark) (Justia website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-5-210 (registration mark) (state website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-5-120(B)(1) (incompetence) (state website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-15-320(B)(1) (absentee ballots) (Justia website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-13-771 (curbside voting) (Justia website) [link]

Early Voting, Absentee Voting, and Other Ways to Vote

Vote-by-Mail

Does the state provide mail ballots to all voters without a request?

No.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-11-30)

S.C. Code § 7-15-320 (Justia website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-15-320 (state website) [link]

Early Voting/Absentee In-Person Voting

Does the state have early voting/absentee in-person voting?

South Carolina has absentee in-person voting, in which an eligible voter can apply for an absentee ballot in person, receive the ballot, and cast the ballot all in one trip to the County Board of Voter Registration and Elections. Voters who cast an absentee ballot in-person must show ID when voting (see section below on Voter ID and Challenges for further information on the ID requirements.)

However, only certain voters are eligible to vote an absentee ballot, whether in person or by mail. The following voters are eligible to vote an absentee ballot only if they will be absent from the county on Election Day during the hours the polls are open:

  • Persons who plan to be on vacation outside of the county on Election Day
  • Students, their spouses, and any dependents living with them
  • Persons serving with the American Red Cross or with the United Service Organizations (USO) who are attached to and serving with the Armed Forces of the United States, their spouses, and dependents residing with them
  • Government employees, their spouses, and dependents residing with them
  • Overseas citizens

The following voters are eligible to vote an absentee ballot even if they are in the county on Election Day during the hours the polls are open:

  • Persons whose employment obligations require that they be at their workplace during the hours that the polls are open on Election Day, if they present written certification of that obligation to the County Board of Voter Registration and Elections
  • Persons 65 years old or older
  • Persons with physical disabilities, which include illnesses or injuries that prevent the person from voting in person
  • Persons attending to sick persons or persons with physical disabilities
  • Persons admitted to hospitals as emergency patients either on Election Day or up to 4 days before Election Day
  • Persons with a death or funeral in the family during the 3 days before Election Day
  • Persons who will be serving as jurors in a state or federal court on election day
  • Persons in a jail or a pretrial facility who are pending disposition of arrest or trial
  • Members of the Armed Forces and Merchant Marines of the United States, their spouses, and dependents residing with them
  • Certified poll watchers, poll managers, County Board of Voter Registration and Elections members and staff, and county and state election commission members and staff working on Election Day

No other voter may cast an absentee ballot, whether in-person or by mail.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-12-01)

S.C. Code § 7-13-710 (ID) (Justia website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-15-330 (applying in person) (state website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-15-385 (casting ballot) (Justia website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-15-330 (applying in person) (Justia website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-13-710 (ID) (state website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-15-310 (definitions) (state website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-15-320 (eligibility requirements) (Justia website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-15-385 (casting ballot) (state website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-15-370 (receiving ballot) (state website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-15-320 (eligibility requirements) (state website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-15-310 (definitions) (Justia website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-15-370 (receiving ballot) (Justia website) [link]

South Carolina Election Commission website [link]

Where does early voting/absentee in-person voting take place?

At the main offices and any extension offices of each County Board of Voter Registration and Elections.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-12-01)

S.C. Code § 7-15-330 (state website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-15-330 (Justia website) [link]

When does early voting/absentee in-person voting take place?

In-person absentee voting begins once absentee ballots are available (January 13, 2015) and continues through 5 p.m. on the day before Election Day.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-12-08)

Interview with South Carolina State Election Commission's office [link]

S.C. Code § 7-15-330 (state website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-15-330 (Justia website) [link]

What official chooses early voting/absentee in-person voting locations?

In-person absentee locations are prescribed by statute.

Source (confirmed on: 2014-6-4)

http://law.justia.com/codes/south-carolina/2013/title-7/chapter-15/section-7-15-330 [link]

Are lists of early voters/absentee in-person voters published? How?

Yes. The list of people who applied for an absentee ballot (in person or by mail) becomes a public record, which may be requested from the county registration board, starting at 9 a.m. on the day before Election Day. A larger list of both the people who were given an absentee ballot and the people who cast an absentee ballot becomes available for public inspection after the election. The voter registration list is also marked to indicate which people have applied for an absentee ballot and which people have cast an absentee ballot (see section below on The Voter File for more information about inspecting the voter registration list).

Source (confirmed on: 2015-12-01)

S.C. Code § 7-15-440 (state website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-15-430 (state website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-15-430 (Justia website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-15-440 (Justia website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-15-330 (Justia website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-15-330 (state website) [link]

Absentee Voting by Mail

Can anyone vote absentee by mail without an excuse? If not, what excuses allow a voter to vote absentee by mail?

Only certain voters are eligible to vote an absentee ballot, whether in person or by mail.

The following voters are eligible to vote an absentee ballot only if they will be absent from the county on Election Day during the hours the polls are open:

  • Persons who plan to be on vacation outside of the county on Election Day
  • Students, their spouses, and any dependents living with them
  • Persons serving with the American Red Cross or with the United Service Organizations (USO) who are attached to and serving with the Armed Forces of the United States, their spouses, and dependents residing with them
  • Government employees, their spouses, and dependents residing with them
  • Overseas citizens

The following voters are eligible to vote an absentee ballot even if they are in the county on Election Day during the hours the polls are open:

  • Persons whose employment obligations require that they be at their workplace during the hours that the polls are open on Election Day, if they present written certification of that obligation to the County Board of Voter Registration and Elections
  • Persons 65 years old or older
  • Persons with physical disabilities, which include illnesses or injuries that prevent the person from voting in person
  • Persons attending to sick persons or persons with physical disabilities
  • Persons admitted to hospitals as emergency patients either on Election Day or up to 4 days before Election Day
  • Persons with a death or funeral in the family during the 3 days before Election Day
  • Persons who will be serving as jurors in a state or federal court on election day
  • Persons in a jail or a pretrial facility who are pending disposition of arrest or trial
  • Members of the Armed Forces and Merchant Marines of the United States, their spouses, and dependents residing with them
  • Certified poll watchers, poll managers, County Board of Voter Registration and Elections members and staff, and county and state election commission members and staff working on Election Day

No other voter may cast an absentee ballot, whether in-person or by mail.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-12-02)

S.C. Code § 7-15-320 (Justia website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-15-320 (state website) [link]

Deadline to apply for absentee ballot by mail

5 p.m. on the fourth day before Election Day.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-12-02)

S.C. Code § 7-15-330 (state website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-15-330 (Justia website) [link]

How does a voter apply for an absentee mail ballot?

A voter can download an absentee ballot application online here, or the voter can request an application from their County Voter Registration and Elections office by phone, e-mail, fax, mail, or in person. After completing the application, the voter can return it by mail, e-mail, fax, or in person delivery.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-12-02)

South Carolina Election Commission website [link]

S.C. Code § 7-15-330 (state website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-15-330 (Justia website) [link]

Can a voter make an online request for an absentee mail ballot?

Yes. Click here to request an absentee ballot.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-12-02)

South Carolina Election Commission website [link]

Does a voter need to submit any supporting documentation or verification with an absentee mail ballot or absentee mail ballot application? If so, what is required?

No, except that if a voter returns the absentee ballot in person, the voter must show an acceptable ID (see section below on Voter ID and Challenges for further information on acceptable IDs).

Source (confirmed on: 2015-12-02)

South Carolina Election Commission website [link]

S.C. Code § 7-13-710 (Justia website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-13-710 (state website) [link]

Are there restrictions on who may request or turn in an absentee mail ballot application for a voter?

A voter can authorize another person to request an absentee ballot application for them in person or by mail. The authorized person must sign an oath saying that they are lawfully authorized to request the absentee ballot application for the voter. Candidates and paid campaign workers (including volunteers reimbursed for time spent campaigning) may not return absentee ballots unless they are an immediate family member of the voter (spouse, parents, children, brothers, sisters, grandparents, grandchildren, and mothers-in-law, fathers-in-law, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, sons-in-law, and daughters-in-law.)

Source (confirmed on: 2015-12-02)

S.C. Code § 7-15-310(8) (state website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-15-310(8) (Justia website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-15-330 (state website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-15-330 (Justia website) [link]

Deadline to return absentee ballots

The ballot must be received by the time the polls close on Election Day.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-12-02)

S.C. Code § 7-15-230 (state website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-15-230 (Justia website) [link]

Are there restrictions on who may return a voter's absentee mail ballot for them?

Only voters who have an illness or disability that confine them to their home, a hospital, a sanatorium, or a nursing home, and voters who have a physical disability that prevents them from voting at their polling place, can authorize another person to return their absentee ballot for them. Such voters must complete an "Authorization to Return Absentee Ballot Form," which is available from the voter's County Board of Voter Registration and Elections. The voter must sign this form, except that if the voter cannot sign due to a disability or illiteracy, the voter can make their mark on the form so long as it is witnessed by another person. The person who returns the absentee ballot for the voter must turn in the authorization form with the ballot. Candidates and paid campaign workers (including volunteers reimbursed for time spent campaigning) may not return absentee ballots unless they are an immediate family member of the voter (spouse, parents, children, brothers, sisters, grandparents, grandchildren, and mothers-in-law, fathers-in-law, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, sons-in-law, and daughters-in-law).

Source (confirmed on: 2015-12-02)

South Carolina Election Commission website [link]

S.C. Code § 7-15-385 (state website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-15-310 (Justia website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-15-310 (state website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-15-385 (Justia website) [link]

Are there any special emergency rules that allow a voter to vote absentee by mail if they are unable to make it to the polls at the last minute?

Yes, if the voter is admitted to a hospital as an emergency patient on the day of an election or within a four-day period before the election. An immediate family member of the voter may obtain an absentee ballot application from the County Board of Voter Registration and Elections on the day of an election, complete the form for the voter, receive the absentee ballot, deliver the absentee ballot personally to the voter to allow the voter to mark it, and then personally carry the absentee ballot back to the Board of Voter Registration and Elections. An immediate family member includes the voter's (spouse, parents, children, brothers, sisters, grandparents, grandchildren, and mothers-in-law, fathers-in-law, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, sons-in-law, and daughters-in-law.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-12-02)

S.C. Code § 7-15-310(8) (state website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-15-310(8) (Justia website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-15-330 (state website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-15-330 (Justia website) [link]

Are lists of people who vote absentee by mail published? How?

Yes. The list of people who applied for an absentee ballot (in person or by mail) becomes a public record, which may be requested from the county registration board, starting at 9 a.m. on the day before Election Day. A larger list of both the people who were given an absentee ballot and the people who cast an absentee ballot becomes available for public inspection after the election. The voter registration list is also marked to indicate which people have applied for an absentee ballot and which people have cast an absentee ballot (see section below on The Voter File for more information about inspecting the voter registration list).

Source (confirmed on: 2015-12-01)

S.C. Code § 7-15-440 (state website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-15-430 (state website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-15-430 (Justia website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-15-440 (Justia website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-15-330 (state website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-15-330 (Justia website) [link]

Presidential-only ballots

Under federal law, any registered voter who moves out of the state after the 30th day before a Presidential election may vote for President and Vice President either in person at the voter's previous state of residence or using an absentee ballot from the voter's previous state of residence.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-12-02)

52 U.S.C. § 10502(e) [link]

Absentee Voting for Military and Overseas Voters

Who is eligible for military/overseas absentee voting?

Certain voters who are living overseas or are uniformed-service voters serving in armed forces may vote a military-overseas ballot.

Overseas citizens who can cast a military-overseas ballot include any person who lives outside of the United States and meets one of the following requirements:

  • The person is registered to vote in South Carolina; or
  • Before leaving the United States, the person was last eligible to vote in South Carolina and, except for the state residency requirement, is otherwise eligible to vote in South Carolina; or
  • Before leaving the United States, the person would have been last eligible to vote in South Carolina had the voter then been of voting age and, except for the state residency requirement, is otherwise eligible to vote in South Carolina; or
  • The person was born outside the United States and, except for the state residency requirement, is otherwise eligible to vote in South Carolina, if (1) South Carolina was the last place where one of person's parents or legal guardians was eligible to vote, or would have been eligible to vote except for age and residency requirements, before leaving the United States; and (2) the person has not previously registered to vote in any other state.

Uniform-service voters who can cast a military-overseas ballot include any person who is registered to vote in South Carolina, or any person whose voting address is in South Carolina and is otherwise eligible to vote, if they meet one of the following requirements:

  • The person is a member of the active or reserve components of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard of the United States, and is on active duty; or
  • The person is a member of the Merchant Marine, the commissioned corps of the Public Health Service, or the commissioned corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the United States; or
  • The person is a member on activated status of the National Guard or organized militia; or
  • The person is a spouse or a dependent of someone who is a member of one of the above groups.
Source (confirmed on: 2015-12-02)

South Carolina Uniform Military and Overseas Voters Act § 5, codified at S.C. Code § 7-15-610 [link]

How do voters apply for a military/overseas ballot?

An overseas or uniformed-service voter can apply for an absentee ballot using the regular absentee ballot application process (see above section on Absentee Voting by Mail) or by submitting a Federal Post Card Application either in person, by fax, by e-mail, or online.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-12-02)

South Carolina Uniform Military and Overseas Voters Act § 5, codified at S.C. Code §§ 7-15-620, 7-15-630, 7-15-640 [link]

FVAP South Carolina website [link]

Deadline to apply for a military/overseas ballot

The application must be received by the time the polls close on Election Day.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-12-02)

FVAP South Carolina website [link]

Deadline to return the military/overseas ballot

If the ballot is submitted electronically, by e-mail, or by fax, it must be received by the time the polls close on Election Day. If the ballot is submitted by mail, it must be mailed out by the time the polls close on Election Day and received by 5:00pm on the 4th day after the election for presidential primary elections, by 5:00pm on the 1st day after the election for other primary elections, and by 5:00pm on the 2nd day after the election for general elections.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-12-02)

South Carolina Uniform Military and Overseas Voters Act § 5, codified at S.C. Code § 7-15-700 [link]

FVAP South Carolina website [link]

Who is eligible to use a write-in absentee ballot? How does it work?

Military and overseas voter can use the federal write-in absentee ballot (FWAB), or apply for a state write-in absentee ballot, by submitting a Federal Postcard Application or comparable state form in which the voter states unable to vote by regular absentee ballot or in person due to requirements of military service or due to living in isolated areas or extremely remote areas of the world. If the voter requests a state write-in absentee ballot, the voter will be sent a ballot that contains the offices that will be voted on and any known candidate names.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-12-02)

South Carolina Uniform Military and Overseas Voters Act § 5, codified at S.C. Code § 7-15-630 [link]

On Election Day

Where do you vote in person?

Where do you vote in person?

Generally, voters cast their ballots at the designated polling place in the precinct where they live. Voters in municipal elections where candidates are elected by ward should vote at the polling place in the ward nearest to where they live. If an emergency situation arises that prevents people from voting in a polling place, the voters assigned to that polling place will be directed to an alternative polling place.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-12-03)

S.C. Code § 7-7-910 (Justia website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-7-920 (state website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-7-910 (state website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-7-920 (Justia website) [link]

What hours are the polls open on Election Day?

What hours are the polls open on Election Day?

7 a.m. - 7 p.m. Voters waiting in line at 7:00pm may vote. All voters have 5 minutes in the voting booth to mark their ballots.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-12-03)

S.C. Code § 7-13-60 (state website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-13-760 (state website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-13-850 (Justia website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-13-760 (Justia website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-13-60 (Justia website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-13-850 (state website) [link]

In the Voting Booth

Can a voter bring children into the voting booth with them?

Yes, so long as the voter attests that the children are the voter's own children.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-11-30)

S.C. Code § 7-13-770(B) (Justia website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-13-770(B) (state website) [link]

Are employers required to give employees time off to vote?

Are employers required to give employees time off to vote?

No, but voters whose employment obligations require that they be at their workplace during the hours that the polls are open on Election Day can vote an absentee ballot if they submit a written certification of that obligation to the County Board of Voter Registration and Elections (for more information, see the section above on Early Voting, Absentee Voting, and Other Ways to Vote).

Source (confirmed on: 2015-12-03)

S.C. Code § 7-15-320 (Justia website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-15-320 (state website) [link]

Campaigning, Electioneering, and Recording Devices

Are there restrictions on campaigning/electioneering on Election Day?

On Election Day, it is unlawful for any person to distribute or display any type of campaign literature within 200 feet of any entrance used by the voters to enter a polling place. However, candidates may verbally campaign within 200 feet of the entrance to the polling place, greet voters and solicit votes within the 200-foot area, greet voters in line inside or outside of the polling place, and enter the polling place. Candidate's representatives may also campaign within 200 feet of the entrance to the polling place, greet voters and solicit votes within the 200-foot area and greet voters in line inside or outside of the polling place, but they may not campaign inside the polling place.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-12-03)

S.C. Code § 7-25-180 (Justia website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-25-180 (state website) [link]

Can a voter wear a button or t-shirt with a candidate's name or logo on it into the polling place when they vote?

No. A voter may not wear a candidate's t-shirt, hat, button, sticker, etc. within 200 feet of the polling place on Election Day. A candidate may wear a button that says the candidate's name and office within 200 feet of the polling place, but not within the polling place.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-12-03)

S.C. Code § 7-25-180 (Justia website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-25-180 (state website) [link]

*NEW 1** Can a voter use a digital or recording device (such as a cell phone or camera) inside the polling place or voting booth?

State law does not prohibit digital devices, but poll workers may ask voters not to use devices in the voting area.

Source (confirmed on: 10/26/2016)

South Carolina Election Commission Poll Managers Handbook [link]

*NEW 2** Can a voter use a digital or recording device (such as a cell phone or camera) outside the polling place but within the zone around the polling place where campaigning/electioneering is banned?

State law does not separately address this issue (see previous question).

Source (confirmed on: 10/17/2016)

S.C. Code Ann. § 7-13-770 [link]

Who's at the Polls?

Can persons other than election workers observe inside the polls?

Yes.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-12-03)

S.C. Code § 7-13-860 (Justia website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-13-860 (state website) [link]

What are observers inside the polls called in the state?

Poll watchers.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-12-03)

S.C. Code § 7-13-860 (Justia website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-13-860 (state website) [link]

Does the state establish requirements to observe inside the polls?

Yes, watchers must be eligible to vote in the county where they are to watch. Each candidate who is opposed in a primary election, and each nonpartisan candidate, may appoint one watcher to any polling place where the candidate's name is on the ballot. Partisan candidates in the same political party in a general election can jointly be represented by two party-appointed watchers at each polling place per 1000 voters registered at that polling place. The names of the watchers must be certified, in writing, to the polling place managers by the candidate or proper party official appointing them.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-12-03)

S.C. Code § 7-13-860 (Justia website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-13-860 (state website) [link]

*NEW 3* Can a poll observer use a digital or recording device (such as a cell phone or camera) in the polling place?

State law does not address this issue. Local practices may vary.

Source (confirmed on: 10/15/2016)

S.C. Code Ann. § 7-13-860 [link]

South Carolina Election Commission Poll Managers Handbook [link]

Are there other rules on what poll observers can or cannot do?

Poll managers will direct poll watchers to an area of the polling place where the poll watchers can observe the election process. Watchers must, at all times, wear a badge that says the name of the candidate or party they represent. Poll watchers may also accompany poll managers who assist voters who use curbside voting (see the Disability Access section above for further information). Poll watchers cannot influence voters or interfere with the election.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-12-03)

S.C. Code § 7-13-860 (Justia website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-13-771 (Justia website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-13-771 (state website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-13-860 (state website) [link]

Provisional Voting and Voters at the Wrong Polling Place

When should a voter be offered a provisional ballot?

Under Section 203 of the federal Help America Vote Act of 2002, if a person claims to be a registered voter in the jurisdiction in which the person desires to vote and the person claims to be eligible to vote in a federal election, but the person’s name does not appear on the official list of eligible voters for the polling place or an election official asserts that the person is not eligible to vote, then that person must be permitted to cast a provisional ballot at that polling place. The person may cast the provisional ballot after executing, before an election official at the polling place, a written affirmation stating that the person is (1) a registered voter in the jurisdiction, and (2) eligible to vote in that election.

Additionally, any person who votes in a federal election as a result of a federal or state court order, or any other order extending the time established for closing the polls by a state law in effect 10 days before the date of that election, may only vote in that election by casting a provisional ballot. Any such ballot cast must be separated and held apart from other provisional ballots cast for different reasons.

Under state law, a voter should be offered a provisional ballot if the voter is registered but the voter's name does not appear on the precinct's voter registration book, if the voter moved without updating their voter registration address, if the voter has not presented acceptable voter ID, or if the voter's qualifications have been challenged by a poll manager, a poll watcher, or another voter.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-12-03)

S.C. Code § 7-13-820 (registration book) (Justia website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-5-440 (voter moved) (Justia website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-13-830 (challenges) (state website) [link]

52 U.S.C. § 21082 (federal law) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-13-820 (registration book) (state website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-13-710 (voter ID) (state website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-13-710 (voter ID) (Justia website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-5-440 (voter moved) (state website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-13-830 (challenges) (Justia website) [link]

If a voter casts a provisional ballot at the wrong precinct, will the ballot be counted?

No, unless the voter is casting a provisional ballot at their former polling place because the voter moved to a new address outside of the precinct but within the same county, or because the voter moved to a new address outside of the county no later than 30 days before Election Day.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-12-03)

S.C. Code § 7-5-440 (Justia website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-5-440 (state website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-13-830 (state website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-13-830 (Justia website) [link]

Following up on a provisional ballot

If a voter casts a provisional ballot because they did not provide proper ID when voting, and they did not sign an affidavit indicating they have a religious objection or a reasonable impediment that prevents them from having a proper ID, then the voter must show proper ID at the office of the County Board of Voter Registration and Elections before the County Board of Canvassers finishes canvassing the election results. For general elections, the County Board of Canvassers begins the canvassing meeting on the Friday after the election before 1:00pm; for primary elections, they begin the canvassing meeting on the Thursday after the election before 1:00pm.

For voters who cast a provisional ballot because they were challenged for any reason, including not having their name appear on the precinct registration book, the voters may choose, but are not required, to attend the canvassing meeting to present evidence of their right to vote.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-12-03)

S.C. Code § 7-13-830 (challenges) (state website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-17-510 (primary election canvass) (Justia website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-13-710 (voter ID) (state website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-17-10 (general election canvass) (state website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-13-710 (voter ID) (Justia website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-17-10 (general election canvass) (Justia website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-17-510 (primary election canvass) (state website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-13-830 (challenges) (Justia website) [link]

Finding out if a provisional ballot was counted

Voters can view their provisional ballot status online here.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-12-03)

South Carolina Election Commission website [link]

Ballot Shortages/Voting Machine Malfunctions

What is the law or procedure on emergency ballots if a polling place runs out of printed ballots? Are handwritten/photocopied ballots allowed?

When there is a shortage of official ballots, the poll managers must provide paper ballots that are made to appear as close as possible to the official ballots. If the situation is severe enough that voters cannot vote at that polling place, voters may be directed to an alternative polling place.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-12-03)

S.C. Code § 7-7-910 (Justia website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-13-430 (Justia website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-7-910 (state website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-13-430 (state website) [link]

What is the law or procedure on emergency ballots if a voting machine breaks or malfunctions?

If a voting machine breaks, it will be repaired if possible or replaced by a working machine if possible. If neither of these are possible, then the poll managers must provide paper that are made to appear as close as possible to the official ballots. If the situation is severe enough that voters cannot vote at that polling place, voters may be directed to an alternative polling place.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-12-03)

S.C. Code § 7-7-910 (Justia website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-7-910 (state website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-13-1870 (Justia website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-13-1870 (state website) [link]

Voter ID and Challenges

Voter ID

Who must show ID to vote?

All voters who cast a ballot in person, either on Election Day or at an absentee in-person voting location.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-12-04)

S.C. Code § 7-13-710 (Justia website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-13-710 (state website) [link]

South Carolina State Election Commission website [link]

What ID is acceptable?

All voters are required to present one of the following IDs to be allowed to vote:

  • A South Carolina driver's license, or
  • A state ID issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles that contains a photo, or
  • A passport, or
  • A military ID issued by the federal government that contains a photograph, or
  • A South Carolina voter registration card that contains a photograph
Source (confirmed on: 2015-12-04)

S.C. Code § 7-13-710 (Justia website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-13-710 (state website) [link]

Is a student ID an acceptable form of identification?

No.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-12-04)

S.C. Code § 7-13-710 (Justia website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-13-710 (state website) [link]

Does the address on the ID have to match the address at which the voter is registered?

No.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-12-04)

S.C. Code § 7-13-710 (Justia website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-13-710 (state website) [link]

If a voter has no ID, are there alternatives such as an oath or witness?

Yes. If the voter has a religious objection to being photographed or has a "reasonable impediment" that prevents them from obtaining a photo ID, then voter may present a non-photo-ID and vote a provisional ballot after completing an affidavit under penalty of perjury at the polling place. The affidavit affirms (i) the voter is the same person who personally appeared at the polling place to vote; (ii) the voter cast a provisional ballot on election day; and (iii) the voter has a religious objection to being photographed or the voter has a "reasonable impediment" that prevents them from obtaining a proper photo ID. If the voter has a "reasonable impediment", the voter must list what that impediment is on the affidavit, unless they are excused from doing so by a state or federal law. A "reasonable impediment" includes any valid reason, beyond the voter's control, which created an obstacle to obtaining a Photo ID. Some examples include:

  • A disability or illness
  • A conflict with the voter's work schedule
  • A lack of transportation
  • A lack of a birth certificate
  • Family responsibilities
  • A religious objection to being photographed
  • Any other obstacle the voter finds reasonable.

So long as the Board of Voter Registration and Election does not determine that the voter is lying on their affidavit, the provisional ballot should be counted without any additional follow up required by the voter.

Alternatively, if a voter does not have proper ID and has neither a religious object nor a reasonable impediment that prevents them from obtaining a photo ID, the voter may still cast a provisional ballot. However, for the provisional ballot to count, such voters must go to their County Board of Voter Registration and Elections office after the election and present proper photo ID. The voter must present this ID before the County Board of Canvassers finishes canvassing the election results. For general elections, the County Board of Canvassers begins the canvassing meeting on the Friday after the election before 1:00pm; for primary elections, they begin the canvassing meeting on the Thursday after the election before 1:00pm.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-12-04)

South Carolina State Elections Commission website (definition of "reasonable impediment") [link]

S.C. Code § 7-13-710 (Justia website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-17-510 (primary election canvass) (Justia website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-17-10 (general election canvass) (state website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-13-710 (state website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-17-10 (general election canvass) (Justia website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-17-510 (primary election canvass) (state website) [link]

Do elections without federal offices on the ballot (such as off-year gubernatorial elections) have different ID requirements?

No, ID requirements are the same across all elections.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-12-04)

S.C. Code § 7-13-710 (Justia website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-13-710 (state website) [link]

Challenges to Voters at the Polling Place

Who can challenge a voter at the polling place?

Any eligible voter, poll watcher, or poll manager can make a challenge. A challenge made by an eligible voter or a poll watcher must be directed to a poll manager, and the poll manager will then inform the challenged voter of the challenge.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-12-04)

S.C. Code § 7-13-810 (state website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-13-810 (Justia website) [link]

What are the allowed reasons on which a voter can be challenged at the polling place?

A voter can be challenged for not meeting any of the eligibility requirements to be a voter.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-12-04)

S.C. Code § 7-13-810 (state website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-13-810 (Justia website) [link]

Is there a requirement for the challenger to provide cause or evidence?

The poll manager should "have good reason to believe" that the voter is not qualified. No standards are specified by law for challenges made by people other than a poll manager.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-12-04)

S.C. Code § 7-13-810 (state website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-13-810 (Justia website) [link]

How does a voter defend their eligibility to vote if they are challenged?

The poll managers can question the voter as to their qualifications to vote. If the challenged voter insists that they are eligible to vote and the challenge is not withdrawn, then the challenged voter can vote a provisional ballot. The Board of County Canvassers will consider the challenge at a hearing held during their vote canvassing meeting. For general elections, the County Board of Canvassers begins the canvassing meeting on the Friday after the election before 1:00pm; for primary elections, they begin the canvassing meeting on the Thursday after the election before 1:00pm.

Unless witnesses or written evidence are presented to support the challenge at the hearing, the provisional ballot will be counted. If evidence supporting the challenge is presented at the hearing, the Board will consider whether to accept the challenge or dismiss the challenge. If the challenge is accepted, the provisional ballot is not counted.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-12-04)

S.C. Code § 7-17-510 (primary election canvass) (Justia website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-13-830 (procedure) (state website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-17-10 (general election canvass) (state website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-13-830 (procedure) (Justia website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-17-10 (general election canvass) (Justia website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-17-510 (primary election canvass) (state website) [link]

State and Local Election Officials

The State Election Authority

Who/what is the state election authority?

State Election Commission

Source (confirmed on: 2015-12-04)

South Carolina State Election Commission website [link]

S.C. Code § 7-3-10 (Justia website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-3-10 (state website) [link]

Current official

Billy Way, Jr. (Chair), Mark A. Benson, Marilyn Bowers, E. Allen Dawson, Nicole Spain White

Source (confirmed on: 2015-12-04)

South Carolina State Election Commission website [link]

E-mail

elections@elections.sc.gov

Source (confirmed on: 2015-12-04)

South Carolina State Election Commission website [link]

Phone

(803) 734-9060

Source (confirmed on: 2015-12-04)

South Carolina State Election Commission website [link]

Address

Physical Address:
2221 Devine Street, Suite 105
Columbia, SC 29205

Mailing Address:
State Election Commission
PO Box 5987
Columbia, SC 29250-5987

Source (confirmed on: 2015-12-04)

South Carolina State Election Commission website [link]

Local Election Authorities

What local election official(s) are in charge of major state-level elections (such as the even-year November general elections)?

County Board of Voter Registration and Elections

Source (confirmed on: 2015-12-04)

S.C. Code § 7-5-10 (state website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-5-10 (Justia website) [link]

What is the county-level election official?

County Board of Voter Registration and Elections

Source (confirmed on: 2015-12-04)

S.C. Code § 7-5-10 (state website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-5-10 (Justia website) [link]

What is the municipal-level election official?

Municipal Election Commission

Source (confirmed on: 2015-12-04)

S.C. Code § 7-15-365 (state website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-15-365 (Justia website) [link]

Contact information for local election authorities

http://www.scvotes.org/how_to_register_absentee_voting

Source (confirmed on: 2015-12-04)

South Carolina State Election Commission website [link]

The Voter File

Voter File Basics

National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) Disclosure Law

Section 8 of the federal NVRA requires that each State maintain for at least 2 years and make available for public inspection and, where available, photocopying at a reasonable cost, all records concerning the implementation of programs and activities conducted for the purpose of ensuring the accuracy and currency of official lists of eligible voters, except to the extent that such records contain information about a person declining to register to vote or information about the identity of a voter registration agency through which a particular voter might have chosen to register.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-12-04)

52 U.S.C. § 20507 [link]

Acquiring a Voter File

Under state procedure, who may acquire a voter file?

Any citizen may request a voter file. However, if the file is requested through the South Carolina State Election Commission website, the person requesting must be a registered voter in South Carolina.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-12-04)

S.C. Code § 7-5-410 (Justia website) [link]

S.C. Code § 7-5-410 (state website) [link]

S.C. Const. art. II, § 8 [link]

South Carolina State Election Commission website [link]

Who is the state-level contact for acquiring a voter file?

State Election Commission, call (803) 734-9071

Source (confirmed on: 2015-12-04)

South Carolina State Election Commission website [link]

How much does the state charge for the file?

People requesting public records, such as the voter file, can be charged the actual cost of searching for or making copies of records, including a reasonably hourly rate for making records available to the public. The minimum charges to obtain the voter file are $75.00 if requested as a printed list or printed mailing labels, and $165.00 if requested on a CD.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-12-04)

S.C. Code § 30-4-30 (state website) [link]

South Carolina State Election Commission website [link]

S.C. Code § 30-4-30 (Justia website) [link]

What format is the file available in?

Tape, diskette, mailing labels, or a printed report.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-12-04)

South Carolina State Election Commission website [link]

Use of the Voter File

Does the state have restrictions on commercial use of the voter file?

Yes, neither the voter file nor any personal information from the voter file may be used to commercially solicit any person in South Carolina.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-12-04)

S.C. Code § 30-2-30 (Justia website) [link]

S.C. Code § 30-2-50 (Justia website) [link]

S.C. Code § 30-2-30 (state website) [link]

S.C. Code § 30-2-50 (state website) [link]

Does the state have restrictions on non-commercial use of the voter file?

No.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-12-04)

S.C. Code § 30-2-50 (state website) [link]

S.C. Code § 30-2-30 (Justia website) [link]

S.C. Code § 30-2-50 (Justia website) [link]

S.C. Code § 30-2-30 (state website) [link]