Voter Registration in South Carolina
“Am I registered to vote in South Carolina?” The sooner you ask this question, the more likely it is that you will be able to vote. Like most states, South Carolina has registration deadlines. This means it is in the best interest of all interested voters to understand how the process works as soon as possible. This ensures they will be able to vote in the upcoming election. Knowing the answer to questions like “Where do I vote in South Carolina?” as soon as possible allows them to worry less about the process and more about the candidates who are vying for political office.
In this article you will learn how to register to vote in South Carolina, who is allowed to vote, what deadline they need to register by, how to register, how to register for an absentee ballot and the importance of registration cards. By the end of the article, you should have a clear idea of the state’s registration process.
Who can register to vote in South Carolina?
Voter registration in South Carolina is open to most adults in the state, but there are some exceptions. First, you must be acknowledged as a citizen by the United States. As well, you must have established residency in the state. Unlike in some other states, there is no requirement for how long you must be a resident before you are able to vote.
If you are currently serving a sentence in prison, you will not be able to register to vote. If the crime you were found guilty of was a felony, you will need to serve your full sentence, including parole, before you will be eligible to vote again. You will also be ineligible to vote if a court has judged you mentally incompetent.
As well, because you must be an adult, you cannot vote before you are 18. You are allowed to register before then, so long as you will be 18 when the next election is held.
South Carolina Voter Registration Deadline
You must register to vote in South Carolina no less than 30 days before Election Day. For in-person voting, this is when the form must be submitted by. For people who register by mail, this is when their application has to be postmarked by.
How to Register to Vote in South Carolina
You can register to vote in South Carolina by using one of several different methods. You can fill out a registration form by:
- Going to a registration drive.
- Going to a county voter registration office.
- Filling out the form and submitting it using the South Carolina Election Commission’s online portal.
- Sending a filled-out form via email or fax to your county voter registration office.
- Sending the registration form via the mail.
Forms submitted via email or fax must be in by October 7th, 11:59 p.m. In-person submissions must meet the deadline by 5 p.m. If you send the form via the mail, it will not be taken with a postmark later than October 9th.
Early Voting in South Carolina
South Carolina does not offer early voting. If you are unable to vote on Election Day, you will need to apply for an absentee ballot.
South Carolina Voter Registration for Active Duty Military and Out-of-State Residents
If you are serving overseas and want to vote in an election in South Carolina, you will have access to the Electronic Voting Accessibility Tool. Using this tool, service members can register to vote in South Carolina, request a ballot, receive it and print it out. Once your ballot is complete, you can choose to email, mail or fax it.
South Carolina Voter Registration for Absentee Voting
South Carolina offers absentee voting, but only for individuals who may be unable to vote on Election Day. This includes people who are hospitalized, people who will be out of the country, service members and people are who more than 64 years old. If qualified, you can get your absentee ballot by contacting your county voter registration office. You can do this by:
- Visiting in-person
- Sending a letter
- Faxing a request
The state also offers absentee application submissions online.
Once you have your ballot, you will be able to mail it or submit it in-person. The deadline for submitting a mail-in absentee ballot is four days before the election, at 5 p.m. When submitting in-person, the deadline is one day prior to the election, at 5 p.m.
Voter Registration Cards in South Carolina
Your voter registration card in South Carolina can be used as a form of identification when you go to the polls, but this is not its most common use, as most people show either their driver’s license or state ID. Instead, the voter card lists your polling place, which can be used on the day of the election if you are unsure where to vote.
Furthermore, the signature on your card will be matched with the signature you use when signing for your ballot. These signatures are compared, in order to prevent voter ID fraud.
How to Change Your Voter Registration in South Carolina
In order to change your voter registration address in South Carolina, you need to submit a change of address form. Though this is called a voter registration change of address form, it can also be used if you have changed your name.
Residents with a state ID or driver’s license can submit the form online. Alternatively, you can download a physical copy of this form and hand it in by mail, in-person, via email or fax. You may list your new information on the back of your registration card and send it to your county’s board of registration.
How to Replace a Lost South Carolina Voter Registration Card
If you lose your voter registration card in South Carolina, you will need to get in touch with the voter registration and elections office in your county.