Candidate Qualifications

No person may be popularly elected to and serve in any office in the State unless he is registered to vote in the geographical area represented by the office (S.C. Constitution, Article VI, Section 1).

A person convicted of a felony or an offense against the election laws is not qualified to file for or hold office, unless it has been fifteen years since the completion of the sentence for the crime or unless the person has been pardoned (S.C. Constitution, Article VI, Section 1).

Candidate's qualifications for all offices, are determined at the time of the election and not at the time of filing or nomination. However, candidates for Senate and House are must be a resident of the district at the time of filing.

Qualifications for municipal offices may vary by ordinance.  Check with your municipal or county election commission for specific qualifications.

Some individuals may be restricted from running for public office by the federal Hatch Act.  The Act applies to federal employees and others receiving federal funds and restricts their participation in campaigns for partisan offices.  For detailed information regarding the Hatch Act, visit the website of the U.S. Office of Special Counsel.  

MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS FOR STATE/FEDERAL OFFICES:

Office

Minimum Age

State Resident

US Citizen

Registered Voter

Term of Office

Consecutive Terms

Special Qualifications/Notes

US Senate

30

No time limit

9 years

Yes

6 years

Indefinite

US House of Representatives

25

No time limit

7 years

Yes

2 years

Indefinite

Governor

30

5 years

5 years

Yes

4 years

2

Lieutenant Governor

30

5 years

5 years

Yes

4 years

2

Secretary of State

18

No time limit

No time limit

Yes

4 years

Indefinite

State Treasurer

18

No time limit

No time limit

Yes

4 years

Indefinite

Attorney General

18

No time limit

No time limit

Yes

4 years

Indefinite

Comptroller General

18

No time limit

No time limit

Yes

4 years

Indefinite

State Superintendent of Education

18

No time limit

No time limit

Yes

4 years

Indefinite

Adjutant General

18

No time limit

No time limit

Yes

4 years

Indefinite

Agriculture Commissioner

18

No time limit

No time limit

Yes

4 years

Indefinite

SC Senate

25

No time limit

No time limit

Yes

4 years

Indefinite

Must be a legal resident of the district at the time of filing

SC House of Representatives

21

No time limit

No time limit

Yes

2 years

Indefinite

Must be a legal resident of the district at the time of filing

Solicitors

18

No time limit

No time limit

Yes

4 years

Indefinite

Must be legal resident of circuit 30 days prior to the election.

Must be licensed to practice law by the S.C. Bar at the time of his election and throughout his term. 

 


MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS FOR COUNTY OFFICES:

Office

Minimum Age

Residency Requirement

Registered Voter

Term of Office

Consecutive Terms

Special Qualifications/Notes

Council

18

Must be a resident of the county and/or district at the time of the election

Yes

4 or 2 years

Indefinite

Term is 2 years in Anderson, Edgefield, Orangeburg, & York Counties.

Treasurer

18

Must be a resident of the county at the time of the election

Yes

4 years

Indefinite

Treasurer is appointed in Greenwood & York Counties.

Auditor

18

Must be a resident of the county at the time of the election

Yes

4 years

Indefinite

Auditor is appointed in Greenwood & York Counties.

Clerk of Court

18

Must be a resident of the county at the time of the election

Yes

4 years

Indefinite

 

Coroner

21

Must be a resident of the county for at least 1 year immediately preceding the date of the election. Must be a U.S. citizen

Yes

4 years

Indefinite

 *See S.C. Code of Laws Section 17-5-130 for additional qualifications.

Probate Judge

21

Must be a resident of the county at the time of the election

Yes

4 years

Indefinite

S.C. Code of Laws Section 14-23-1040 includes an education/experience requirement for Probate Judge. (Act 678 of 1990) However, the U.S. Department of Justice objected to the requirement, and the act was never precleared and is therefore unenforceable.

Sheriff

21

Must be a resident of the county for at least 1 year immediately preceding the date of the election. Must be a U.S. citizen.

Yes

4 years

Indefinite

See S.C. Code of Laws Section 23-11-110 for additional qualifications.

Register of Deeds

18

Must be a resident of the county at the time of the election

Yes

4 years

Indefinite

School Board

18

Must be a resident of the county and/or district at the time of the election

Yes

4, 3 or 2 years

Indefinite

Additional qualifications may exist for any particular school board or district.  For specific lengths of terms and qualifications, contact the local school district or the S.C. School Board Association.

Soil & Water Conservation District Commissioner

18

Must be a resident of the county and/or district at the time of the election

Yes

4 years

Indefinite