South Carolina

Step 1: Apply

Can I vote-by-mail in my state?


Maybe. South Carolina requires an excuse to vote-by-mail. You can find a list of the accepted excuses below. If you qualify, follow the application steps listed. If you don't qualify, call your representatives and ask them to change the rules. Many states have already done so this year. Click here to register as a new voter or to check your existing registration. (It's always a good idea to double-check.) https://www.scvotes.gov/south-carolina-voter-registration-information




Who is allowed to vote-by-mail?


The following voters qualify for an absentee ballot:

  • Students attending school outside their county of residence and their spouses and dependents residing with them
  • Members of the Armed Forces or Merchant Marine serving outside their county of residence and their spouses and dependents residing 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 outside their county of residence and their spouses and dependents residing with them
  • Persons who, for reasons of employment, will not be able to vote on Election Day
  • Physically disabled persons
  • Government employees serving outside their county of residence on Election Day and their spouses and dependents residing with them
  • Persons with a death or funeral in the family within three days before the election
  • Persons who plan to be on vacation outside their county of residence on Election Day
  • Certified poll watchers, poll managers, and county election officials working on Election Day
  • Overseas Citizens
  • Persons attending sick or physically disabled persons
  • Persons admitted to the hospital as emergency patients on Election Day or within a four-day period before the election
  • Persons serving as a juror in state or federal court on Election Day
  • Persons sixty-five years of age or older
  • Persons confined to a jail or pre-trial facility pending disposition of arrest or trial




Where should I send my completed application?


Return to your completed application to your county voter registration office via mail, email, fax or in person: https://www.scvotes.gov/how-register-absentee-voting




When is the application due?


Technically, applications must be received by October 30, 2020. To avoid delays within the election office and the postal service, we recommend you send it immediately and no later than the middle of October. New voters must register by October 4, 2020.




What if I don't qualify to vote-by-mail?


It can be frustrating to learn that different states have different rules for voting. Where you live shouldn't affect your right to vote safely. If you are a South Carolina resident and you want to vote-by-mail, call your elected officials. Pressure from constituents matters. Other states have changed their requirements this year due to concern over Coronavirus. At this time, only five states have the kind of restrictive regulations South Carolina has. Enter your address in the link below. Call the offices of your governor and state legislators listed at the bottom. https://www.270towin.com/elected-officials/




I have a question that wasn't answered here.


Please call the county election office where you live. They are in charge of elections and should be able to help you. https://www.scvotes.gov/how-register-absentee-voting




***Shenanigan Alerts**


Things to look out for: At this time, only five states have the kind of restrictive regulations South Carolina has. The other forty-five states make it possible for any registered voter to vote-by-mail.





Step 2: Vote-by-Mail

When do I have to mail or drop off my completed ballot?


Technically, ballots must be received by 7pm on Election Day. (November 3, 2020) To avoid delays within the election office and the postal service, we recommend you return your voted ballot as soon as it arrives and no later than the middle of October. You may also drop your ballot at your local election office. It's a good idea to call and check first. https://www.scvotes.gov/how-register-absentee-voting




Does it require a stamp? Two?


Read the outside of the envelope to see if additional postage may be required. The US Postal service will deliver any ballot, regardless of whether or not it has the correct postage, or any at all. They will charge the local election office for any unpaid postage. https://time.com/4547550/absentee-mail-ballot-postage-stamp-postal-service-usps/




Can my ballot be dropped off at a polling site or dedicated drop box?


You may not drop your ballot at a polling site and there will not be additional drop box locations.




I have a question that wasn't answered here.


Please call the county election office where you live. They are in charge of elections and should be able to help you. https://www.scvotes.gov/how-register-absentee-voting





Early In-Person Voting

Does my state offer any in-person early voting days?


You may vote absentee in person at your local election offce until 5:00 pm on the day before the election (November 2, 2020). The South Carolina election calendar shows in-person absentee voting available only on October 31, 2020. But the schedule may vary by county. The same restrictions for who may vote absentee by mail apply, as do the rules for photo ID required to vote at a polling place on election day. *Note: there is no photo ID requirement to vote absentee by mail. Call your county election office for dates and availablity. https://www.scvotes.gov/how-register-absentee-voting




I have a question that wasn't answered here.


Please call the county election office where you live. They are in charge of elections and should be able to help you. https://www.scvotes.gov/how-register-absentee-voting





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