Voter Registration In South Carolina
Who Can Register In South Carolina
To register to vote in South Carolina, you must:
- Be a U.S. citizen
- Be a resident of South Carolina, this county and precinct
- Be at least 18 years old on or before the next election
- Not be under a court order declaring you mentally incompetent
- Not be confined in any public prison resulting from a conviction of a crime
- Not have ever been 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
You must register to vote at least 30 days before the election you wish to vote in.
South Carolina Election Day Registration
South Carolina does not offer Election Day registration, so be sure to submit your voter registration before the deadline.
You can pre-register to vote in South Carolina if you will turn 18 by the next election.
Voting Rights Restoration
South Carolina does restore the right to vote upon release, with the exception of convictions of felonies or crimes against the election laws. In that case, your voting rights are restored once you have served your full sentence, including completion of any prison/jail time, probation, and parole, or if you are pardoned.
If you have a past conviction, learn more about your eligibility to vote here.
Voting In South Carolina
Where To Vote In South Carolina
You can search for your polling place here.
Vote-by-mail & Absentee
Voters in South Carolina can typically only vote absentee with an approved excuse, but during COVID-19, all voters are eligible to vote absentee under the “State of Emergency” excuse.
To request an absentee ballot in South Carolina, complete, sign, and return the application with your original, non-digital signature to your county voter registration office by email, mail, fax, or personal delivery. If submitting the application via email or fax, a scanned version of the signature is sufficient.
Click here to track your South Carolina absentee ballot.
To return your South Carolina absentee ballot, mail it back or return it to your county voter registration office in person. The absentee ballot comes with an oath that must be signed and addressed by the voter and one witness.
Early Voting In South Carolina
South Carolina offers in-person absentee voting. Voters can only vote in-person absentee with an approved excuse. In-person absentee voting begins 30-45 days before an election (as soon as counties have their ballots) and ends at 5:00 PM on the day before the election.
Primary Elections In South Carolina
South Carolina has open primaries, but you are only allowed to participate in one party’s primary (this affiliation lasts only for primaries, except in the case of a runoff where you must vote the same as you voted in the primary) 17-year-olds can vote in the primary election if they will be 18 by the corresponding general election.
Voter ID In South Carolina
Voter ID Requirements
Photo ID is required to vote in South Carolina. Valid forms of ID include:
- SC Driver's License
- SC Department of Motor Vehicles ID Card (includes SC Concealed Weapons Permit)
- SC Voter Registration Card with Photo
- Federal Military ID (includes all Department of Defense Photo IDs and Veterans Affairs Benefits Card)
- US Passport (includes US Passport ID Card)
If you do not have an approved form of ID, you can get a free Photo ID from your county voter registration and elections office or your local DMV office. If you're already registered to vote, you can go to your county voter registration and elections office, provide your date of birth and the last four digits of your Social Security Number, and have your photo taken.
If you go to your polling place without an approved form of ID, you may vote a provisional ballot that will count only if you show your Photo ID to the election commission prior to certification of the election (usually Thursday or Friday after the election).
If you can’t get a photo ID, you can bring your voter registration card to polls, vote a provisional ballot, and sign an affidavit stating you have a reasonable impediment to obtaining Photo ID. A reasonable impediment is any valid reason, beyond your control, which created an obstacle to obtaining a photo ID. This ballot will count unless someone proves to the election commission that you are lying about your identity or about having the listed impediment.
Additional South Carolina Resources
Your State Election Official
Chair of the State Election Commission
Phone number: 803.734.9060