COLUMBIA, SC (October 12, 2018) - Absentee voting for the November 6, 2018 General Election is underway at county elections offices throughout the state. As of this morning, approximately 45,000 voters had applied for absentee ballots statewide. At this point in the process in 2014, the last gubernatorial election, approximately 30,000 voters had applied for absentee ballots statewide.
Voters who are age 65 and older, who will be on vacation, or who can’t go to the polls due to their job are all qualified to vote absentee. If you meet one of these or any of the other qualifying reasons, you can vote early by absentee ballot. The State Election Commission wants you to know how to vote absentee and the deadlines for doing so.
Voting Absentee In-Person:
- Visit your county elections office, complete an application, and cast your ballot.
- Available until 5:00 p.m. on Monday, November 5.
Voting Absentee by Mail:
It is important that voters consider U.S. Postal Service transit times in choosing to vote absentee by mail. First class mail may take 2-5 days to arrive at its destination. Voters should apply as soon as possible and make sure to mail the ballot at least one week before the election.
Step 1: Get an absentee application.
- Get your application online at scVOTES.org. Download the application as a .pdf. file then print the application.
- Or request an application from your county voter registration office by phone, mail, email, or fax. You will be mailed an application.
Step 2: Complete and return the application.
- Mail, fax or email the completed application to your county voter registration office as soon as possible. Voters who return applications by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, November 3 will be mailed a ballot.
Step 3: Get your ballot and VOTE!
- Your ballot will arrive by mail. Vote the ballot following ballot instructions and return it as soon as possible to your county voter registration office and no later than 7:00 p.m. on November 6. If you can’t mail your ballot by October 30, consider returning the ballot in-person.
Voters qualified to vote by absentee ballot:
1. Students attending school outside their county of residence and their spouses and dependents
2. Members of the Armed Forces or Merchant Marine serving outside their county of residence and their spouses and dependents residing with them (click here for additional information)
3. Persons serving with the American Red Cross or United Service Organizations (USO) serving with the Armed Forces outside their county of residence and their spouses and dependents
4. Persons who, for reasons of employment, will not be able to vote on election day
5. Physically disabled persons
6. Government employees serving outside their county of residence on Election Day and their spouses and dependents residing with them
7. Persons with a death or funeral in the family within three days before the election
8. Persons who plan to be on vacation outside their county of residence on Election Day
9. Certified poll watchers, poll managers, and county election officials working on Election Day
10. Overseas Citizens (click here for additional information)
11. Persons attending sick or physically disabled persons
12. Persons admitted to the hospital as emergency patients on Election Day or within a four-day period before the election
13. Persons serving as a juror in state or federal court on Election Day
14. Persons sixty-five years of age or older
15. Persons confined to a jail or pre-trial facility pending disposition of arrest or trial