COLUMBIA, SC (February 3, 2016) - The State Election Commission wants voters to be aware of the procedures for voting by absentee ballot in the 2016 Presidential Preference Primaries.
Voters may vote in only one party's Presidential Preference Primary.
Qualified voters (reasons listed below) may vote absentee either in person or by mail:
IN PERSON -
Visit your county elections office , complete an application, and cast your ballot. You may vote absentee in person up until 5:00 p.m. on the day before each primary.
- For the Republican Primary up until 5:00 p.m. on Friday, February 19
- For the Democratic Primary up until 5:00 p.m. on Friday, February 26
BY MAIL -
Step 1: Get an absentee application in one of two ways:
2. Request an application from your county elections office by phone, mail, email, or fax. You will be mailed an application.
Step 2: Complete and sign the application and return it to your county elections office by mail, fax, or email as soon as possible and no later than 5:00 p.m. on the Tuesday before each primary.
- For the Republican Primary up until 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 16
- For the Democratic Primary up until 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 23
Step 3: Receive your absentee ballot in the mail and vote the ballot following the instructions.
Step 4: Return the ballot to your county elections office in person or by mail no later than 7:00 p.m. on the day of the primary.
- For the Republican Primary up until 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 16
- For the Democratic Primary up until 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 23
Find more information on absentee voting, check your absentee ballot status, check your voter registration, and get a sample ballot at scVOTES.org.
As of today, approximately 29,000 absentee ballot applications have been requested statewide.
In the 2008 Presidential Preference Primaries (the last year both parties held primaries), nearly 36,000 absentee ballots were cast statewide.
Visit our "Fact Sheets" page at scVOTES.org to find historical and current statistics on voter registration, turnout, and absentee voting. The link to "Fact Sheets" is available under "Media" in the site menu.
Voters qualified to vote by absentee ballot:
1. 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)
2. Persons serving with the American Red Cross or with the United Service Organizations (USO) who are attached to and serving with the Armed Forces outside their county of residence and their spouses and dependents residing with them
3. Overseas Citizens (click here for additional information)
4. Persons who are physically disabled
5. Students attending school outside their county of residence and their spouses and dependents residing with them
6. Persons who for reasons of employment will not be able to vote on election day
7. Government employees serving outside their county of residence on Election Day and their spouses and dependents residing with them
8. Persons who plan to be on vacation outside their county of residence on Election Day
9. Persons serving as a juror in state or federal court on Election Day
10. Persons admitted to the hospital as emergency patients on Election Day or within a four-day period before the election
11. Persons with a death or funeral in the family within three days before the election
12. Persons confined to a jail or pre-trial facility pending disposition of arrest or trial
13. Persons attending sick or physically disabled persons
14. Certified poll watchers, poll managers, and county election officials working on Election Day
15. Persons sixty-five years of age or older
16. Persons who for religious reasons do not want to vote on a Saturday (Presidential Primaries Only)