Write-in Candidates

Generally, there are no filing forms or fees required to run as a write-in candidate.  However, write-in candidates should notify the appropriate election commission in writing that they are conducting a write-in campaign.  State law allows for some elections to be cancelled if there is only one candidate on the ballot and no write-in candidates.  S.C. Code of Laws Section 7-13-190(E) states that a special election or municipal election is NOT required to be conducted if 14 calendar days has passed since the close of the filing period and only one person has filed for the office and no one has declared to be a write-in candidate with the authority charged by law with conducting the election.

Write-in votes are not allowed in political party primaries or for President and Vice-president. 

A candidate who was defeated in a political party's primary may not actively offer or campaign as a write-in candidate for the ensuing election (S.C. Code of Laws Section 7-11-210).

The "write-in" space is always listed after any candidate names listed on the ballot.

Candidate names may be written in on voting machine ballots by touching the "write-in" space on the touchscreen.  When the "write-in" space is touched, a "write-in" screen appears featuring a touchscreen keyboard.  The voter types the name of the candidate using the keyboard and presses "accept" when finished.  When accept is touched, the screen returns to the ballot, and the candidate's name that was entered will appear under the appropriate office.

See a video on how to vote using the touchscreen voting machine, including casting a write-in vote.

Candidate names may be written in on paper ballots using a pen or pencil.  The use of stickers or stamps to place the candidate's name on the ballot is not permitted.  The candidate's name must be hand-written by the voter or person providing authorized assistance.