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Press Releases

National Voter Registration Day is September 24

COLUMBIA, SC (September 23, 2019) – The South Carolina State Election Commission, along with Americans across the nation, will be celebrating National Voter Registration Day (NVRD) on Tuesday, September 24, 2019. This is a nationwide effort to register voters before upcoming elections in November.

The State Election Commission encourages all South Carolinians to exercise their right to vote in all elections, including the more than 180 local elections being held throughout the state on November 5. The first step to doing that is registering to vote. But it’s not only November; there’s an election happening nearly every Tuesday somewhere in the state.  Click here for a complete list of upcoming elections.

YOU MUST BE REGISTERED BY THE DEADLINE TO VOTE IN A NOVEMBER 5 ELECTION.

Registering to vote has never been easier:

Welcome to the New scVOTES.org!

Welcome to the new scVOTES.org! You may notice scVOTES.org has a new look and feel since your last visit.  The site was updated on August 21, 2019.   In addition to an updated look, the new site is more secure, more accessible, and easier for administrators and the public to use.

South Carolina Announces New Paper-Based Voting System

COLUMBIA, SC (June 10, 2019) – The state of South Carolina today announced the award of a contract for a new statewide voting system. After a lengthy evaluation of numerous proposals, an evaluation panel unanimously selected the Election Systems and Software (ES&S) ExpressVote voting system. The new paper-based system will replace the state’s aging paperless system that has been in place since 2004.DS200ExpressVote

Securing South Carolina Elections

The mission of the S.C. State Election Commission (SEC) is to ensure every eligible citizen has the opportunity to register to vote, participate in fair and impartial elections, and have the assurance that their votes will count.  Fundamental to this mission is ensuring the security and integrity of elections in South Carolina. 
SEC Seeks New Statewide Voting System Solution

COLUMBIA, SC (December 7, 2018) - The State Election Commission (SEC) in conjunction with the State Fiscal Accountability Authority (SFAA) today released a Request for Proposals (RFP) for South Carolina’s next statewide voting system. The SEC is seeking a uniform, statewide voting system solution that features a paper record of each voter’s voted ballot to replace the current paperless system. The SEC expects to implement the new system by January 2020.

A new voting system will not only provide the state with a dependable system that will serve voters for years to come but will also improve the security and resilience of our election process. Having a paper record of each voter’s voted ballot will add an important layer of security as it allows for post-election audits of ballots to verify vote totals.

The SEC is issuing the RFP now to allow adequate time for evaluation of voting system proposals and subsequent implementation by January 2020. The SEC continues working with the S.C. General Assembly to acquire funding for this replacement effort.

cwhitmire Fri, 12/07/2018 - 15:38
Absentee Sets Record for Midterm, County Offices Open Saturday for Absentee Voting

COLUMBIA, SC (November 2, 2018) – As of today, more than 260,000 absentee ballots have been issued statewide, and more than 230,000 absentee ballots have been returned.  For the 2014 General Election, the last midterm, approximately 157,000 absentee ballots were cast, which was the previous record for absentee voting in a midterm election.  Absentee numbers will continue to increase as voters will have additional opportunities to vote absentee in person on Saturday and Monday before the General Election on Tuesday.

 
County election offices will be open statewide for in-person absentee voting on 

  • Saturday, November 3, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
  • Monday, November 5, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

To vote absentee in-person, visit your county elections office, complete an application, and cast your ballot. 

Absentee by Mail:

cwhitmire Fri, 11/02/2018 - 15:54
Absentee Voting Underway for 2018 General Election

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:

cwhitmire Fri, 10/12/2018 - 15:41
SEC Mails to Unregistered Citizens, Urges Them to Register by Oct. 17

COLUMBIA, S.C. (October 8, 2018) – Postcards are being mailed to South Carolina residents who are most likely eligible to vote but have not yet registered.  These postcards are being sent today to approximately 950,000 South Carolina residents, encouraging them to register by October 17th so they can vote in the 2018 General Election.

The mailing was planned as part of South Carolina’s recent membership in the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC).  ERIC is an organization operated by member states which uses motor vehicle, voter registration, and Social Security Administration data to improve the accuracy of voter registration lists.  To join, member states are required to reach out by mail to residents who are likely eligible but not registered letting them know how and when to register to vote. 

krhodes Mon, 10/08/2018 - 11:08
Voter Registration Deadline Extended to October 17

COLUMBIA, S.C. (October 2, 2018) – South Carolina citizens now have more time to register to vote ahead of the 2018 General Election after the court today ordered the voter registration deadline extended to October 17.

The 10-day extension was necessary to protect the voting rights of South Carolina residents due to the widespread impact of Hurricane Florence.  Many citizens have been displaced and are struggling to recover, and many county voter registration offices were closed for considerable periods of time.

While the deadline was extended due to the impact of Hurricane Florence, the October 17 deadline applies to voters in all counties.

YOU MUST REGISTER BY WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 17 TO VOTE IN THE 2018 GENERAL ELECTION.

There are many ways to register in South Carolina, and it has never been easier:

cwhitmire Tue, 10/02/2018 - 11:21
National Voter Registration Day is September 25

COLUMBIA, S.C. (September 24, 2018) – To help ensure voters are prepared for the November 6 Statewide General Election, the State Election Commission is joining thousands of other election officials and others across the country to celebrate National Voter Registration Day.

The first step to ensuring every vote matters and every vote counts is making sure everyone has the opportunity to register to vote.

TO VOTE IN THE 2018 GENERAL ELECTION, YOU MUST BE REGISTERED BY SUNDAY, OCTOBER 7.

Are you already registered?  Visit scvotes.org and click “Check My Registration” to make sure your registration is up-to-date.

There are many ways to register in South Carolina, and it has never been easier:

abarton Sun, 09/23/2018 - 17:24

2018 Constitutional Amendment Question

The following Constitutional Amendment Question will appear on ballots in the November 6, 2018 General Election:

Amendment 1

Must Section 7, Article VI of the Constitution of this State, relating to state constitutional officers, be amended so as to provide that beginning in January 2023, or upon a vacancy in the office of Superintendent of Education after the date of the ratification of the provisions of this paragraph, whichever occurs first, the Superintendent of Education must be appointed by the Governor, with the advice and consent of the Senate; to provide that the appointed Superintendent of Education shall serve at the pleasure of the Governor; and to require the General Assembly to provide by law for the duties, compensation, and qualifications for the office?

Explanation

SEC Holds Election Security and Technology Workshop

Topics include election infrastructure security, voting system implementation and auditing methods

COLUMBIA, S.C. (August 8, 2018) – The S.C. State Election Commission (SEC) concluded its 2018 Election Security and Technology Workshop today in Columbia, S.C.  Approximately 150 election officials and county information technology staff from all 46 counties in the state attended the two-day workshop.  Attendees received valuable cybersecurity information and training, viewed the latest in voting system technologies and learned how other states are using paper ballot audits to confirm election results.

Know the Rules for Voting in the June 26 Primary Runoffs

COLUMBIA, SC (June 20, 2018) – The State Election Commission wants to make sure voters understand the rules for voting in the Primary Runoffs on Tuesday, June 26.  Voters who voted in the June 12 Primaries are limited to voting in the same party’s runoff.  Voters who did not vote on June 12 can choose to vote in either party’s runoff.

2018 Primary FAQs

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Q.  What candidates and/or offices are on the ballot today?
A.  The candidates and offices on a particular ballot will differ depending on the county and districts in which you reside and the primary in which you’re voting (Democratic or Republican).  To see the candidates that will appear on your ballot, visit scVOTES.org and click “Get My Sample Ballot” in the mySCVOTES section of the homepage.

Q.  Where do I vote?
A.  At the polling place in your precinct.  Your precinct and polling place are listed on your voter registration card.  However, it’s possible your polling place may have changed since the card was issued.  To be sure of the location of your polling place: