Arthur Ravenel Bridge

Press Releases

Photo ID in SC: What Voters Need to Know

COLUMBIA, SC (February 23, 2016) - The S.C. State Election Commission (SEC) wants voters to be aware of what they need to bring to the polls to vote in the Democratic Presidential Primary on Saturday, February 27. 

While having a Photo ID, and bringing it to the polls, will make the voting process easier; no registered voter in the correct polling place should ever be denied a ballot, whether the voter has a Photo ID or not.

Poll Managers will ask voters for one of the following types of Photo ID:

  • S.C. Driver's License
  • S.C. DMV ID Card
  • S.C. Voter Registration Card with a Photo
  • Federal Military ID
  • U.S. Passport

Voters who already have one of the IDs above are ready to vote.  They need to be sure to bring their ID with them to their polling place.

2016 Presidential Primary FAQs

Download a Printable Copy of this FAQ

Q.  What is a Presidential Preference Primary (PPP)?

A.   A PPP, commonly referred to simply as a "Presidential Primary," is a publicly held election in which voters vote for their choice to be a particular party's nominee for President.  State political parties use the results of the PPP to assign state delegates to the national party convention.  At the national convention, delegates from all participating states choose the party's nominee.  The party's nominee goes on the General Election ballot in November.  For more on party nomination of Presidential candidates, contact the appropriate political party.

Q.  Do I have to be a registered member of a party to participate in a Presidential Primary?

A.   No, S.C. does not have registration by party.  The Presidential Primaries are open to all registered S.C. voters. 

Q.  Why are the Presidential Primaries on two separate dates?  Why are they being held on Saturdays?

Absentee Voting Underway for Presidential Primaries

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:

Register by Wednesday to be Eligible for Democratic PPP

Register Online at scVOTES.org

COLUMBIA, S.C. (January 26, 2016) - To help ensure voters are prepared for the upcoming Presidential Preference Primaries (PPPs), the State Election Commission wants to remind everyone of the upcoming voter registration deadline for the Democratic PPP and urge those already registered to update their information.

TO VOTE IN THE DEMOCRATIC PPP, YOU MUST BE REGISTERED BY JANUARY 27

Voter Registration Deadlines for PPP Fast Approaching

Register Online at scVOTES.org

COLUMBIA, S.C. (January 19, 2016) - To help ensure voters are prepared for the upcoming Presidential Preference Primaries (PPPs), the State Election Commission wants to remind everyone of the upcoming voter registration deadlines and urge those already registered to update their information.

TO VOTE IN THE REPUBLICAN PPP, YOU MUST BE REGISTERED BY JANUARY 20.

TO VOTE IN THE DEMOCRATIC PPP, YOU MUST BE REGISTERED BY JANUARY 27.  

SEC Moving to 1122 Lady Street

COLUMBIA, SC (October 14, 2015) - The State Election Commission is moving to 1122 Lady Street, Suite 500, Columbia, SC, 29201.  Operations will begin at the new location on Monday, October 26.

Only the street address of the agency will change.  The mailing address, telephone numbers, fax number, and email addresses will remain the same.

Current contact information (through 10/23):

2221 Devine Street, Suite 105, Columbia, SC, 29205
P.O. Box 5987, Columbia, SC, 29250
Tel:  (803) 734-9060
Fax:  (803) 734-9366
elections@elections.sc.gov
www.scvotes.org

New contact information (beginning 10/26):

1122 Lady Street, Suite 500, Columbia, SC, 29201
P.O. Box 5987, Columbia, SC, 29250
Tel:  (803) 734-9060
Fax:  (803) 734-9366
elections@elections.sc.gov
www.scvotes.org

National Voter Registration Day is September 22

National Voter Registration Day 2015

National Voter Registration Day 2015

Register Online at scVOTES.org

COLUMBIA, S.C. (September 18, 2015) - The South Carolina State Election Commission, along with Americans across the nation, will be celebrating National Voter Registration Day (NVRD) on Tuesday, September 22, 2015.  This is a nationwide effort to register voters before upcoming elections in November.  Celebrate democracy in America by encouraging individuals to exercise one of our most basic rights:  the right to vote!

SEC Reminds Voters of Absentee Deadlines

COLUMBIA, SC (October 28, 2014) - The State Election Commission wants voters to be aware of fast approaching deadlines for voting absentee in the 2014 General Election. 

Qualified voters (reasons listed below) may vote absentee either in person or by mail:

IN PERSON - Visit your county voter registration office , complete an application, and cast your ballot.  You may vote absentee in person up until 5:00 p.m. on Monday, November 3.

BY MAIL - WARNING: Voting absentee by mail at this late date should be done only if necessary.

Step 1: Get an absentee application in one of two ways:

Absentee Voting Underway for General Election

COLUMBIA, SC (October 9, 2014) - The State Election Commission wants voters to be aware of the procedures and deadlines for voting absentee in the 2014 General Election. 

Qualified voters (reasons listed below) may vote absentee either in person or by mail:

IN PERSON - Visit your county voter registration office , complete an application, and cast your ballot.  You may vote absentee in person up until 5:00 p.m. on Monday, November 3.

BY MAIL -

Step 1: Get an absentee application in one of two ways:

1.       Get the application online at scVOTES.org.   Follow this link to get your application online.  You must be able to print your application.

October 4 Voter Registration Deadline Approaches

Register Online at scVOTES.org

COLUMBIA, S.C. (September 30, 2014) - To help ensure voters are prepared for the November 4 General Election, the State Election Commission wants to remind everyone of the upcoming voter registration deadline and urge those already registered to update their information.

TO VOTE IN THE 2014 GENERAL ELECTION, YOU MUST BE REGISTERED BY OCTOBER 4. 

  • If you have moved, make sure you are ready to vote by updating your registration.
  • If you have moved from one county to another, you must register in your new county by October 4 to be eligible to vote.
  • If you've moved within your county or changed your name recently, it will help ensure a smoother voting process for you - and your neighbors - by updating your information prior to October 4.

REGISTER or UPDATE YOUR REGISTRATION:

National Voter Registration Day is September 23

Register Online at scVOTES.org

COLUMBIA, S.C. (September 18, 2014) - The South Carolina State Election Commission, along with Americans across the nation, will be celebrating National Voter Registration Day (NVRD) on Tuesday, September 23, 2014.  This is a nationwide effort to register voters before the upcoming election in November.  This year's theme is Celebrating Democracy in America, encouraging individuals to exercise one of our most basic rights in America:  the right to vote!

The State Election Commission encourages all South Carolinians to exercise that right on November 4, and the first step to doing that is registering to vote.

YOU MUST BE REGISTERED BY OCTOBER 4 TO VOTE IN THE NOVEMBER 4 GENERAL ELECTION.

In South Carolina, voter registration has never been easier:

Absentee Deadlines Fast Approaching

COLUMBIA, SC (May 29, 2014) - The State Election Commission wants voters to be aware of upcoming deadlines for voting by absentee ballot in the June 10 Statewide Primaries.  As of today, nearly 18,000 absentee ballots had been issued statewide.  In comparison, approximately 23,000 absentee ballots were cast in the 2010 Statewide Primaries (the last gubernatorial election year primary).

Qualified voters (reasons listed below) may vote absentee in person or by mail:

IN PERSON - Visit your county voter registration office , complete an application, and cast your ballot.  You may vote absentee in person up until 5:00 p.m. on Monday, June 9.

BY MAIL -

Absentee Voting for June Primaries Underway

COLUMBIA, SC (May 23, 2014) - The State Election Commission wants voters to be aware of the procedures for voting by absentee ballot in the June 10 Statewide Primaries.  As of today, more than 13,000 absentee ballots had been issued statewide.  In comparison, approximately 23,000 absentee ballots were cast in the 2010 Statewide Primaries (the last Gubernatorial election year primary).

Qualified voters (reasons listed below) may vote absentee in person or by mail:

In Person - Visit your county voter registration office , complete an application, and cast your ballot.  You may vote absentee in person up until 5:00 p.m. on Monday, June 9.

By Mail -

Step 1: Get an absentee application in one of two ways:

May 10 Voter Registration Deadline Approaches

Register Online at scVOTES.org

COLUMBIA, S.C. (May 5, 2014) - To help ensure voters are prepared for the June 10 Primaries, the State Election Commission wants to remind everyone of the upcoming voter registration deadline and urge those already registered to update their information.

TO VOTE IN THE JUNE 10 PRIMARIES, YOU MUST BE REGISTERED BY MAY 10.

  • If you have moved, make sure you are ready to vote by updating your registration.
  • If you have moved from one county to another, you must register in your new county by May 10 to be eligible to vote.
  • If you've moved within your county or changed your name recently, it will help ensure a smoother voting process for you - and your neighbors - by updating your information prior to June 10.

"Having an accurate voter record helps ensure a voter's eligibility to vote in an election," says Executive Director Marci Andino.  "It also reduces the potential for delays in the sign-in process at polling places - and that can have a significant impact on wait time for all voters."

May is Voter Education Month

SEC Urges Voters to Prepare for June 10 Primaries

Online voter registration and personal sample ballots now available to voters

COLUMBIA, SC (April 30, 2014) - State and local voter registration and elections officials are using the month of May to encourage voters to prepare for June Primaries and draw attention to innovations designed to increase registration and help educate voters on candidates.

Governor Nikki Haley has declared May as Voter Education Month.   State Election Commission Executive Director Marci Andino, county registration and elections officials and representatives of several advocacy organizations held a Statehouse press conference today to kickoff the month long effort to educate voters prior to the June Primaries.