NEW: All candidates, except President, seeking a political party's nomination to run in a general or special election must now file a Statement of Intention of Candidacy/Party Pledge Form (SICPP) with the appropriate county or state election commission during the appropriate filing period. Click here for information on Filing for President.
Candidates must also file a Statement of Economic Interest (SEI) form with the State Ethics Commission. This must be done electronically on the State Ethics Commission website. Candidates may also be required to make Campaign Disclosure reports. Visit the State Ethics Commission website for more information.
Candidates for federal office, statewide office, and solicitor must file with the State Election Commission. Candidates for State Senate, State House of Representatives, countywide office, and less-than-countywide office must file with the county election commission in the candidate's county of residence.
The filing period for the General Election opens at noon on March 16th of the election year and closes at noon on March 30th of the election year.
Names of candidates who fail to file the proper forms during the appropriate filing period will not appear on the ballot.
Candidates who file as a Republican or Democrat must pay a filing fee. The filing fee is one percent of the annual salary of the office multiplied by the number of years in the term of office or $100, whichever is greater. This fee is applied to funding the party's primary.
If only one candidate files for a particular office with a particular party, that candidate becomes the party's nominee. When more than one candidate files for a particular office with a particular party, the nominee is chosen by primary or convention.
The Democratic and Republican parties nominate candidates by primary. Primaries to nominate candidates for the General Election are held on the second Tuesday in June. Candidates must receive a majority of votes to be nominated. If no candidate receives a majority of votes for a particular office, a primary runoff between the top two candidates is held two weeks later. Primaries and runoffs are conducted by the State and county election commissions.
The Constitution, Green, Independence, Labor, Libertarian, United Citizens, and Working Families parties nominate candidates by convention. Conventions are conducted by the parties. Contact the appropriate party for more information regarding conventions.
A candidate may be nominated by more than one political party. Such candidates are commonly referred to as "fusion candidates." Click here for information regarding candidates representing more than one party.
Names of candidates who were defeated in a political party primary or convention may not appear on the ensuing general or special election ballot (S.C. Code of Laws Section 7-11-10).
Special elections are non-scheduled elections held at various times to fill vacancies created by death, resignation or removal from office.
The filing period for special elections opens at noon on the third Friday after the vacancy occurs and closes at noon, 10 days later. Candidates must file with the appropriate county or state election commission.
If necessary, a primary is held on the 11th Tuesday after the vacancy occurs. If necessary, a primary runoff is held on the 13th Tuesday after the vacancy occurs. The special election is held on the 18th Tuesday after the vacancy occurs.
Partisan Municipal Elections
Filing rules for partisan municipal elections vary. Check with your local party or municipal or county election commission for specific requirements.