COLUMBIA, SC (March 19, 2020) – As March candidate filing continues, the SEC is asking candidates to file as soon as possible and to make an appointment before filing to help avoid crowding in the final days of the period. While the day-to-day impact of the response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is uncertain, the SEC continues working with county boards to help ensure the process continues without interruption as directed by the Governor’s Executive Order 2020-09.
As of today, approximately 700 candidates have filed statewide. During the March 2016 candidate filing period, the last comparable period, a total of 1,019 candidates filed statewide. See who has filed through Candidate Tracking at scVOTES.org. Candidate filing will close at noon on March 30, 2020. All partisan candidates seeking office in the November 3, 2020 General Election must file during this period.
The SEC is taking actions to provide for continuity of operations and to protect the health and safety of candidates and election officials at the state office as well as directing county boards to do the same. These actions include:
- Encouraging candidates to file as early as possible during the filing period due to the developing nature of the coronavirus threat and to avoid crowding in the closing days of the period.
- Encouraging candidates to make an appointment to file. Appointments will be spaced 15 minutes apart to reduce the number of candidates in the office at the same time. Appointments are optional.
- Urging candidates to refrain from bringing unnecessary guests with them to file. This will help reduce the number of people in the office at the same time.
- Working with county administrators to ensure elections offices can remain open as county offices close or public access to county buildings is restricted.
- Ensuring candidates are aware of the option to file by agent. This option may be particularly helpful to candidates who have underlying health conditions, are self-isolating, or are quarantined. Candidates may have any other person deliver a notarized Statement of Intention of Candidacy & Party Pledge form and any necessary filing fee check to the appropriate filing office.
- Providing hand sanitizing stations.
- Frequent cleaning of common surfaces.
- Providing one-time use pens for signing documents. Candidates are also encouraged to bring their own pen.
- Providing signage to remind staff and visitors to practice good hygiene and social distancing, including refraining from shaking hands.
- Designating appropriate staff as essential personnel to provide for ongoing operation in the event of state or county office closures.
- Training adequate backup staff to ensure continuity of operations in the event staff must be absent due to the impact of the virus.
For details on candidate filing, visit: https://www.scvotes.org/candidate-information