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2016 Statewide Primaries FAQs

Q.  What candidates and/or offices are on the ballot today?

A.   The candidates and offices on a particular ballot will differ depending on the county and districts in which you reside and the primary in which you're voting (Republican or Democratic).  To see the candidates that will appear on your ballot, visit scVOTES.org and click "Get My Sample Ballot" in the mySCVOTES section of the homepage.

Q.  Where do I vote?

A.   At the polling place in your precinct.  Your precinct and polling place are listed on your voter registration card.  However, it's possible your polling place may have changed since the card was issued.  To be sure of the location of your polling place:

  • Visit scVOTES.org and click "Find My Polling Place" in the mySCVOTES section of the homepage.
  • Call your county voter registration office.

Q.  What hours will the polls be open?

South Carolina Surpasses 3 Million Registered Voters

Get Registered by May 14 to Vote in State Primaries

COLUMBIA, S.C. (May 5, 2016) - South Carolina's voter registration rolls have grown to more than three million registered voters.  "It's never been easier to register to vote in South Carolina," said Marci Andino, Executive Director of the S.C. State Election Commission.  "With online voter registration, registration by mail, and registration at the Department of Motor Vehicles and other state agencies, South Carolinians have more opportunities than ever to get registered."  South Carolinians are also registering at higher rates than ever before.  More than three quarters (76.5%) of the state's voting age population is registered to vote.

Year

Voting Age Population (18+)

Registered Voters

2016 Candidate Filing Period Opens

Candidate Tracking System available at scVOTES.org

COLUMBIA, SC (March 16, 2016) - The 2016 March Filing Period opens at noon today throughout the state.  Any candidate seeking a political party's nomination for an office on the November 8, 2016, General Election ballot must file during the March Filing Period.  The filing period opens at noon today and closes at noon on March 30.  Filing deadlines for nonpartisan candidates are later this year.

See Who Has Filed

Beginning at noon today, check the Candidate Tracking System at scVOTES.org and select "2016 General Election."  Candidate names and copies of forms are posted online immediately as candidates file.

Where Candidates File

Office Where to File

U.S. Senate

U.S. House (All Districts)

Solicitor (Circuits 1, 2, 4, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 14, 16)

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 -