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Press Releases

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Election Commission (SEC) has clear direction from the Court on how to deal with votes cast for candidates who have withdrawn from a race after ballots have been prepared.

The SEC has had a long-standing policy that votes for withdrawn candidates are not counted for the purpose of determining a majority vote in a primary.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.

SEC Executive Director Testifies on “Dead Voters” Claim

Columbia, SC (January 25, 2012) - S.C. State Election Commission Executive Director Marci Andino testified today before the House Election Laws Subcommittee on recent claims that more than 900 votes had been cast in the name of dead voters.

While the SEC has not yet been provided with all the information on which the claims are being made, the Attorney General's office has provided a small sample - six names from Abbeville County.   A review of the voter registration lists and signatures on the poll lists from the elections in question revealed that of these six:

Turnout Reports Vary Across South Carolina

Absentee voting is underway throughout South Carolina, and the State Election Commission wants to inform voters about associated procedures and deadlines.  Voters who meet one of the qualifying reasons listed below may cast an absentee ballot 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., Friday, January 20th.

By Mail -

Step 1:  Contact your county voter registration office as soon as possible to request an absentee ballot application.  The request may be made in person or by phone, mail, email, or fax.

New Photo ID Requirements Blocked by DOJ, Rules for Voting Do Not Change

The U.S. Department of Justice today blocked implementation of a new law that would require South Carolina voters to present a photo ID in order to vote.  Identification requirements for voting will not change at this time.

Current law requires voters to present one of three items to vote at the polling place:

  • S.C. Driver's License
  • S.C. Identification Card issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles
  • S.C. Voter Registration Card

South Carolina is covered by Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.  Therefore, any change to election law must be approved (or "precleared") by the U.S. Department of Justice before it can be implemented or enforced.

December 21st Voter Registration Deadline Approaches

To help ensure voters are prepared for the upcoming Republican Presidential Preference Primary, the State Election Commission wants to remind everyone of the impending voter registration deadline and urge those already registered to update their information.

Those who wish to vote in the Republican Presidential Preference Primary on January 21 must be registered by Wednesday, December 21.  Voters who have moved from one county to another must be registered to vote in their new county by the deadline.

REGISTER:

Reports Indicate Heavy Voter Turnout Across South Carolina

COLUMBIA, S.C. - (November 2, 2010) - Polling places across the state have reported moderate to heavy voter turnout throughout the day with some polling places experiencing long lines. The SC State Election Commission encourages any voter who has not yet cast a ballot to go to his or her polling place before 7 p.m. and vote. Anyone in line by 7 p.m. will be allowed to cast a ballot.

"Today's high voter turnout is a huge testament to the citizens of South Carolina and their dedication to making their voices heard by casting a ballot in today's election," said Marci Andino, executive director of the SC State Election Commission. "We appreciate the preparation, enthusiasm and patience of voters who went to the polls and voted today, and encourage those who have not yet voted to do so by 7 p.m. today."

Andino continued, "We are thankful for the tireless efforts of the 20,000 poll workers and election officials across the state who have worked diligently in the months and weeks leading up to this election to ensure that every vote matters and every vote counts." 

2010 General Election FAQs

COLUMBIA, SC (October 28, 2010) - South Carolina voters go to the polls on Tuesday, November 2nd.  Below are some of the most frequently asked questions regarding general elections:

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.  To find out what candidates will appear on ballots in your county visit www.scVOTES.org and click "General Election Candidates by County," or call your county election commission.

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.  To ensure your polling place hasn't changed since your card was issued, check your voter registration by visiting www.scVOTES.org and clicking "Check Your Voter Registration."

Q.  What hours will the polls be open?

A.  Polling places are open 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.  Anyone in line at 7:00 p.m. will be allowed to vote.

Only Days Left to Vote Absentee

Columbia, SC (October 27, 2010) - The State Election Commission (SEC) wants to remind voters of impending deadlines for voting absentee in the General Election.  Voters who qualify may cast an absentee ballot in one of two ways: in person or by mail.  The SEC recommends voting absentee in person due to the risks associated with voting by mail at this late date.

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., Monday, November 1st.

By Mail -

Step 1:  Contact your county voter registration office as soon as possible to request an absentee ballot application.  The request may be made in person or by phone, mail, email, or fax.

Absentee Voting Deadlines Approach

Columbia, SC (October 20, 2010) - Absentee voting is underway throughout South Carolina, and the State Election Commission wants to inform voters about associated procedures and deadlines.  Voters who meet one of the qualifying reasons listed below may cast an absentee ballot in one of two ways: 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., Monday, November 1st.

By Mail -

Step 1:  Contact your county voter registration office as soon as possible to request an absentee ballot application.  The request may be made in person or by phone, mail, email, or fax.