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Press Releases

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.

2014 Candidate Filing Period Opens

Candidate Tracking System available at scVOTES.org

COLUMBIA, SC (March 17, 2014) - The 2014 candidate filing process is proceeding smoothly today with partisan candidates filing for various offices at election commissions throughout the state.  Today marks the first full day of the filing period.  Nearly 300 candidates had filed by 4 p.m.

In response to more than 200 candidates being removed from ballots in 2012, the General Assembly passed the Equal Access to the Ballot Act.  The Act separated the ethics filing process from the candidate filing process and moved candidate filing from political parties to election commissions.  Candidates are still required to file ethics reports.  Failure to do so will result in fines but has no impact on the candidate's access to the ballot.

New Photo ID Requirements - What Voters in November 5th Elections Need to Know

COLUMBIA, SC (October 29, 2013) - Voters need to be aware of new rules for showing Photo ID at the polls in the various local elections being held throughout the state on November 5, 2013.  Under the new rules that took effect on January 1, 2013, all voters will be asked to provide one of the following types of Photo ID at their polling place:

  • S.C. Driver's License
  • S.C. DMV Identification 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.

Voters who forget to bring their ID with them to vote may vote a provisional ballot that will count only if they show their Photo ID to the election commission prior to certification of the election.  Most municipal elections are certified on Thursday, but specific certification dates and times will vary by election.  Voters casting provisional ballots will be given notice of the specific date and time of the certification hearing.

SEC Expects Turnout to Approach Record

COLUMBIA, S.C. (November 6, 2012) - South Carolina voters turned out today in large numbers across the state. Initial reports from precincts indicate voter turnout is likely to be on-par with the record-breaking 2008 General Election.

Voters returned approximately 400 thousand absentee ballots this year, surpassing the 2008 record of 342 thousand absentee ballots. Voters showed the same enthusiasm at the polls today, with anecdotal reports from across the state indicating heavy turnout. The State Election Commission expects total voter turnout to be similar to the record-setting 76 percent turnout of 2008.  Participation may even surpass the 2008 record.

"The passion and dedication of South Carolina citizen for the electoral process was on display at the polls today," said Marci Andino, executive director of the South Carolina State Election Commission. "We're grateful to voters for their patience as they waited to cast their ballots, and we want to thank the 20,000 poll workers and election officials across the state for their tireless work to ensure that every vote counts."

Absentee Deadlines Fast Approaching

COLUMBIA, SC (October 31, 2012) - Voters should be aware of upcoming deadlines and the procedures for voting by absentee ballot in the November 6, 2012, General Election.

Persons qualified to vote by absentee ballot:

1.       Students attending school outside their county of residence and their spouses and dependents residing with them

2.       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)

3.       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

4.       Persons who, for reasons of employment, will not be able to vote on election day

5.       Physically disabled persons

Thousands Register Online as October 6th Deadline Approaches

COLUMBIA, S.C. (October 3, 2012) - In less than 24 hours, more than 3,000 voters took advantage of South Carolina's new online voter registration system.  The system was made available to the public at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, and by 10:00 a.m. Wednesday, 3,102 applications had been submitted.

"Voter registration has never been easier, and we're pleased that citizens are taking advantage of this wonderful new opportunity," says Marci Andino, executive director of the S.C. State Election Commission. "This overwhelming response proves South Carolinians are eager to make their voices heard in November."

The State Election Commission wants to take this opportunity to remind everyone of the upcoming voter registration deadline and urge those already registered to update their information.

You must be registered by October 6th to vote in the November 6th General Election.

Voters who have moved from one county to another must be registered to vote in their new county by the deadline.

South Carolina Launches Online Voter Registration System

Only 12 other states allow citizens to register to vote online

Columbia, SC (October 2, 2012) - The S.C. State Election Commission today announced the launch of one of the nation's first paperless online voter registration systems, greatly simplifying the registration process and encouraging more citizens to participate in elections.

"South Carolina has made important improvements to our registration and elections process in the last decade, and we are proud to announce one of the single most important changes to the process is now a reality," said Marci Andino, executive director of the State Election Commission. "There's no waiting in line, no forms to print out, nothing to mail in. Any eligible person can register in just minutes."

Citizens must register to vote by Saturday, October 6, in order to vote on November 6, and online registration is available now to expedite the process. 

September is Voter Education Month

Governor Nikki Haley Recognizes September as Voter Education Month;  South Carolina State Election Commission Encourages South Carolina's 600,000 Eligible Voters to Register by Oct. 6

COLUMBIA, S.C. (Sept. 6, 2012) - The South Carolina State Election Commission today kicked off a month-long effort to encourage South Carolinians to register to vote before Oct. 6 in order to participate in the Nov. 6 General Election or to update voter registration information if they are already registered.

"Voting is the quintessential American way for citizens to participate in our political system and make their voices heard," said Marci Andino, executive director of the South Carolina State Election Commission. "We are promoting Voter Education Month to urge eligible citizens to register, to remind registered voters to update their registration information, and to help them prepare for Election Day. In South Carolina, every vote matters and every vote counts."

Democratic Runoff Tuesday in Seventh Congressional District

COLUMBIA, SC (June 22, 2012) - For the first time, the S.C. State Election Commission (SEC) has clear direction from the Court on how to deal with votes cast for candidates who have withdrawn from a race after ballots have been prepared.

The SEC has had a long-standing policy that votes for withdrawn candidates are not counted for the purpose of determining a majority vote in a primary.  This policy was based primarily on the plain language of the applicable state law (S.C. Code of Laws §7-17-610), which says that majority is determined "by dividing the total vote cast for all candidates by two," and that anything in excess of that sum is a majority.

Primary Ballots Set, Candidates May Not Be Added

COLUMBIA, S.C. (May 17, 2012) - On May 2, 2012, the S.C. Supreme Court issued its order in Anderson v. South Carolina State Election Commission, No. 27120 (S.C. Sup. Ct. filed May 2, 2012) requiring as follows:

We direct the appropriate official of the political parties to file with the State Election Commission or the appropriate county election commission, by noon on May 4, 2012, a list of only those non-exempt candidates who simultaneously filed an SEI and an SIC as required by § 8-13-1356(B).

Prior to noon on May 4, both the State Election Commission and the Lexington County Election Commission received certifications from the Republican Party State Executive Committee and the Lexington County Republican Party Executive Commission. Katrina Shealy was not certified as a candidate for Senate District 23. As an agency of the State of South Carolina, the State Election Commission has no authority to accept additional candidates after the May 4, 2012 noon deadline set by the Supreme Court in the Anderson decision. 

Voter Registration Deadline for Primaries Approaches

COLUMBIA, S.C. (May 2, 2012) - To help ensure the upcoming State Primaries run as efficiently as possible, the State Election Commission is reminding South Carolinians of upcoming voter registration deadlines and urging voters to update their information.

To vote in the Primaries on June 12th, you must be registered by May 12th.

Voters who have moved from one county to another must register in their new county.

TWO WAYS TO REGISTER:

1.    Visit your county board of voter registration and complete an application.

2.    Download a voter registration form, complete the form, and return it to your county voter registration office in one of the following ways:

  • In person by May 12 (check locally for Saturday hours)
  • By mail (must be postmarked by May 12)
  • By fax (must be received by May 12)
  • By email with signed form attached (must be received by May 12)

CHECK YOUR VOTER REGISTRATION

SEC Releases Findings on "Dead Voters" Investigation

Columbia, SC (February 23, 2012) - The S.C. State Election Commission (SEC) today released the findings of a partial review of information provided by the S.C. Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) suggesting 953 votes were cast in the name of deceased voters.  Due to the size and scope of the task of examining every claim, the review was limited to 207 cases related to the 2010 General Election. 

In 197 of these instances, the records show no indication of votes being cast fraudulently in the name of deceased voters.  Research found each of these cases to be the result of clerical errors, bad data matching, errors in assigning voter participation, or voters dying after being issued an absentee ballot.  In 10 cases, the records were insufficient to make a determination.

The research related to these 207 cases has been provided to the S.C. Attorney General's office (AG) and the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED). The AG and SLED continue to examine all information related to the case.