Truth vs. Myth - 2008 General Election

Posted on: Fri, 10/24/2008 - 09:46 By: cwhitmire

Here is the truth about some common rumors and myths surrounding the 2008 General Election:

Myth:  South Carolina has "early voting," meaning anyone can vote early for any reason.

TRUTH:  South Carolina has "absentee voting."  You must meet one of 17 reasons for voting absentee.  For a complete list of reasons, visit or call or visit your county voter registration office.

Myth:  Absentee votes don't count unless the election is really close.

TRUTH:  Every vote matters, and every vote counts.  Absentee ballots are usually the first votes counted on Election Day.

Myth:  New regulations require a picture ID as well as a voter registration card for the elections this year, and all the information between the two will have to match.

190,000 Request Absentee Ballots; Absentee Timeline Tightens

Posted on: Thu, 10/23/2008 - 14:50 By: cwhitmire

COLUMBIA, S.C. (October 23, 2008) - More than 190,000 voters have requested absentee ballot applications for the 2008 General Election, and nearly 160,000 absentee ballots have been issued.  In the last presidential election (2004), approximately 160,000 absentee ballots were cast.

There is still time to vote absentee, but deadlines are approaching.

If you are aged 65 or older or are unable to make it to the polls on Election Day, you are likely eligible to vote an absentee ballot.  For a full list of qualifications to vote absentee, visit

Chain E-mail Makes False Claims about Straight Party Voting

Posted on: Mon, 10/13/2008 - 14:53 By: cwhitmire

Many South Carolina voters have received a chain e-mail containing incorrect information regarding straight party voting.  The basic claim is that straight party voting does not apply to President.  The information in this e-mail is based on old state law that is no longer in effect.

The Truth:

Straight party voting applies to President and all other partisan offices on the ballot.  Straight party is the first choice a voter is presented with when voting a General Election ballot in South Carolina.  If a voter chooses to vote straight party, each candidate that party has nominated for any office on the ballot is automatically selected.  Voters can later change their choice for individual offices (also known as crossover voting).

Nearly a Quarter Million Voters Added to Rolls in 2008

Posted on: Thu, 10/09/2008 - 09:54 By: cwhitmire

Numbers Continue to Rise after Deadline; Absentee Voting Underway

COLUMBIA, S.C. (October 7, 2008) - The deadline to register to vote in the General Election has passed, and preliminary numbers show the number of registered voters in South Carolina has increased more than 240,000  in 2008 by and now stands at 2.5 million.  This number will continue to rise as county voter registration offices continue to process applications received by the deadline.

Prior to the 2004 General Election, voter registration rolls increased by approximately 200,000 voters.  In that election, 70% of registered voters cast votes - a record number.

"The fact that nearly a quarter of a million South Carolinians have taken the first step to exercise their right to vote this year is truly encouraging," said Marci Andino, executive director of the South Carolina Election Commission, "and the fact that registration has outpaced that of 2004 points to the possibility we could see an even stronger turnout this year.

Absentee voting is underway throughout South Carolina.

Voter Registration Deadline Nears, Some Counties Hold Saturday Hours

Posted on: Wed, 10/01/2008 - 17:37 By: cwhitmire

COLUMBIA, S.C. - The State Election Commission wants to remind those not already registered to vote that they must register no later than October 4th to be eligible to participate in the November 4, 2008, General Election.


  • Visit your county voter registration office. County offices are open weekly during regular courthouse hours, generally 8:30 to 5:00. Also, many offices will be open Saturday, October 4th. Please see the list below regarding your county's hours on that date.


Display of Campaign Material Not Allowed at Polls

Posted on: Thu, 09/25/2008 - 17:31 By: cwhitmire

The display of campaign material is not allowed within 200 feet of any entrance to a polling place on election day.  This law applies to any type of visual display of campaign material, including posters, pamphlets, brochures, signs, buttons, hats, t-shirts, etc.  Voters displaying campaign material who enter the 200-foot area will be asked to remove the material, cover the material, or otherwise cause the material not to be seen.

Please see the applicable section of the S.C. Code of Laws posted below:

SECTION 7-25-180. Unlawful distribution of campaign literature.

Petition Candidate Filings

Posted on: Tue, 07/15/2008 - 16:49 By: cwhitmire

The deadline for candidates to file petitions to have their name placed on the 2008 General Election ballot for President of the United States, federal offices, state-level offices (including State House, Senate, and Solicitor), and any multi-county offices was noon, July 15, 2008.

The following is a list of candidates who filed prior to the deadline. Candidates' petitions will be checked to determine whether they contain a sufficient number of signatures for the particular offices the candidates seek. This process must be completed by noon, August 15, 2008.

Ralph Nader/ Matt Gonzalez - President/ Vice President of the United States - PETITION CERTIFIED

Bill Collins - State Senate District 38 - PETITION CERTIFIED

Kenny McLaughlin - State House of Representatives District 55 - PETITION NOT VALID

Brian Doyle - State House of Representatives District 82 - CANDIDATE NOT QUALIFIED

John Bass - Aiken County School Board District 1 - PETITION CERTIFIED

Are You Eligible to Vote in the June 24 Runoffs?

Posted on: Mon, 06/23/2008 - 14:37 By: cwhitmire

South Carolina voters will head to the polls again on Tuesday, June 24, to vote in the Primary Runoffs, but not all voters will have the opportunity to vote. There is no statewide office on the ballot, so there are areas of the state where no runoffs are taking place. Also, voters who voted in one party's primary on June 10, are restricted from voting in another party's runoff. This means some voters will have a runoff in their county or district but will not be eligible to vote due to this restriction.

How to determine whether you are eligible to vote in the Primary Runoff:

1. Check the 2008 Primary Runoffs by County list to determine whether there are any runoffs being held in your county and in any of your districts within your county.

2. If you do not know which districts you live in (State Senate, State House, County Council, etc.), contact your county voter registration office, or check your voter registration online. 

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