Before voting in an election, we urge you to be familiar with the voting requirements and process in the state of South Carolina. These tips were adapted from the U.S. Election Assistance Commission to help you enhance your voting experience.
Register to Vote
Here in South Carolina, as is the case with most states, citizens are required to be registered in order to vote. Voter registration is closed for 30 days prior to every election. For example, this year the voter registration deadline for the November 8, 2016 General Election is October 8, 2016. You can register to vote online by clicking here; you may also register to vote in person at the Charleston County Board of Voter Registration in North Charleston; or you may download a voter registration form here, complete it, and return it to the Charleston County Board of Voter Registration via mail, fax, or email.
Confirm Your Voter Registration Status
Once you have registered to vote, be sure to check your status with the Charleston County Board of Voter Registration a few weeks before the last day to register. This will give you enough time to make any necessary changes to your registration information (your address, etc.) in time to cast your ballot. You may check your South Carolina voter registration status online by clicking here.
Know Your Polling Place Location and Hours
In South Carolina, polling places are open from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm on Election Day. According to the State Election Commission, anyone in line at 7:00 pm will be allowed to vote.
To find your polling place, visit this link on the State Election Commission website to enter your County, Name, and Date of Birth as it appears on your Voter Registration card.
Know the Voter Identification (ID) Requirements
When voting in person in South Carolina, you will be asked to present one of the following photo identification cards / documents:
- South Carolina Driver’s License
- South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) ID Card
- South Carolina Voter Registration Card with Photo
- Federal Military ID
- U.S. Passport
For more information on the photo identification requirements, click here to visit the State Election Commission website.
Understand Provisional Voting
Federal law allows you to cast a provisional ballot in a Federal election if your name does not appear on the voter registration record, or if your eligibility to vote is in question. Here in South Carolina, you are entitled to cast a provisional ballot if:
- A poll manager or any voter has reason to believe that you might be ineligible to vote, or
- Your name does not appear on the voter registration rolls
When you cast your provisional ballot, you will be given written instructions on the time and place of a hearing related to your provisional ballot. If the voter registration office can determine you are a registered voter, your provisional ballot will be counted. Provisional ballots are kept separate from other ballots, and they are not counted on election night. You can check the status of your provisional ballot online here.
Check the Accessibility of Your Polling Place
If English is not your native language, or you are a voter with special needs or specific concerns due to a disability, your polling place may offer special assistance. For more information on accessibility at your polling place, we urge you to call the Charleston County Board of Voter Registration.
For more information on your rights as a voter in the state of South Carolina, please click here to read the South Carolina Voting Guide compiled and maintained by the League of Women Voters Education Fund.
We encourage you to track the activity of your state and local governments, including the voting records of your elected officials. For your convenience, we have provided the following links to help you stay informed of how your government and officials are representing your interests.
To track the activity of the United States Congress, you may visit GovTrack.us. You can see a list of all members of Congress, including the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives, track activity of all proposed bills and resolutions, take a closer look at your elected officials’ voting records, and monitor committee activity.
Residents of South Carolina may check the voting history of any state legislator by visiting the the South Carolina Legislature website and visiting the Vote History page. You may also watch recordings of past legislative sessions by visiting the site’s Video Archives.