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Press Releases

SC Election Commission Members Thank Voters, Election Officials Following a Record-Setting 2020 General Election

COLUMBIA, SC (November 18, 2020) – The five members of the SC State Election Commission today approved a resolution of thanks and appreciation to voters for their patience and enthusiasm and to county and state election officials and volunteers for their unwavering commitment to creating and enacting plans to provide safe and accessible registration and voting opportunities for every citizen.

“Faced with extraordinary challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, state and county election officials worked tirelessly to adapt to new voting laws and set up safe voting processes,” said John Wells, Chairman of the State Election Commission. “As a result, the 2020 General Election was conducted safely and securely, all while seeing the largest number of voters in South Carolina election history. We thank the voters across South Carolina for their patience and enthusiasm under unprecedented circumstances.”

Absentee by Mail Printing Error Will Delay Results in Dorchester County

COLUMBIA, SC (November 3, 2020) – Due to a printing error by the ballot printing vendor, Dorchester County absentee by mail ballots are unable to be tabulated using ballot scanners.  All ballots will be counted, and this does not impact the integrity of the election.  However, unofficial results of by mail ballots in Dorchester County will not be available tonight.  Results of in-person absentee ballots and election day ballots are unaffected.

It is too early to know when the results will be tabulated, but the SEC is working with elections officials in Dorchester County to count the ballots accurately and completely.

This issue only impacts the approximately 14,600 by mail ballots issued by Dorchester County.

More than One Million South Carolinians Cast Absentee Ballots

COLUMBIA, SC (October 28, 2020) – More than one million South Carolinians have already cast their ballots in the 2020 General Election, doubling the record for absentee voting set in the 2016 General Election.  Based on current trends, 1.3 million voters could vote before election day, which could be approximately half of the total turnout in the election.

The highest turnout in a presidential election in the past 25 years was 76% in 2008.  If the 2020 General Election matches that turnout, approximately 2.7 million of the 3.5 million registered voters in South Carolina will vote.

2020 General Election Absentee Statistics as of 12:00 p.m., October 28

Total Issued: 1,105,000,000 (Record - 517,000 - 2016 GE)

Total Returned: 1,013,000 (Record - 503,000 - 2016 GE)

     In Person Issued/Returned:  642,000 (Record - 370,000 - 2016 GE)

     By Mail Issued:  464,000 (Record - 147,000 - 2016 GE)

Absentee Voting Breaks Records, Mail-in Application Deadline Nears

COLUMBIA, SC (October 15, 2020) – A record number of South Carolinians are voting absentee, both in person and by mail.  Based on current trends, more than one million voters will vote before election day.

While in person absentee voting is available through November 2, the deadline to apply for an absentee by mail ballot is quickly approaching.  Voters who want to vote by mail in the November 3 General Election need to act now and return their application no later than Saturday, October 24. 

2020 General Election Absentee Statistics as of 5:00 p.m., October 15

Total Issued: 637,000 (Record - 517,000 - 2016 GE)

Total Returned: 388,000 (Record - 503,000 - 2016 GE)

     In Person Issued/Returned:  221,000 (Record - 370,000 - 2016 GE)

     By Mail Issued:  416,000 (Record - 147,000 - 2016 GE)

     By Mail Returned:  167,000 (Record - 133,000 - 2016 GE)

Witness Signature Required for Mail-In Ballots

Ballots received through October 7 will be accepted without a witness signature.

COLUMBIA, S.C. (October 6, 2020) – South Carolinians voting absentee by mail must now have their signatures on ballot return envelopes witnessed after the United States Supreme Court late yesterday reinstated the requirement.  

Under the court’s order, ballots already received by county officials and those received through October 7 will be counted regardless of whether the return envelope bears a witness signature.

To ensure your absentee by mail ballot counts, voters must:

Five Days Remain to Get Registered for General Election

Make Sure You Are Registered, and Your Information is Current

COLUMBIA, S.C. (September 29, 2020) – To help ensure voters are prepared for the November 3 General Election, the State Election Commission wants to remind South Carolinians of the fast-approaching voter registration deadline.


Voters should prepare for election day by checking to make sure their registration is current.  Visit and click “Check My Registration.”

Voters not currently registered to vote in their county of residence must register by the deadline, including citizens who:

Witness Signature Now Required on Absentee By Mail Ballots for 2020 General Election

COLUMBIA, S.C. (September 24, 2020) – South Carolinians voting absentee by mail must now have their signatures on ballot return envelopes witnessed after the United States Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals today issued an order reversing a lower court’s ruling.   On September 19th, the United States District Court ordered the witness requirement to be suspended for the 2020 General Election.  The Fourth Circuit order stays the District Court order.

The SEC will continue to the notify the public of any changes to the witness requirement through the media and at

Survey of 2020 Primary Voters Shows South Carolinians Confident in State's Elections

COLUMBIA, SC (September 10, 2020) – A survey conducted in June 2020 showed a large majority of South Carolinians who voted in the June 9 Statewide Primaries were confident in the accuracy of South Carolina's elections and were comfortable with the state's new paper-based voting system.

Voter Registration

South Carolina voters say the process of registering to vote is easy, with 65% saying it is very easy and an additional 28% saying it is somewhat easy.

Voting System

More than four in five (85%) say they are very (44%) or somewhat (41%) confident in the accuracy of South Carolina elections. This compares to roughly three in four (74%) who say they are very (35%) or somewhat (39%) confident in the accuracy of national elections.

Most voters are comfortable using South Carolina’s paper-based voting system (48% say they are very comfortable, with an additional 34% saying they are somewhat comfortable). Further, voters are confident in the accuracy of South Carolina’s paper-based voting system (38% say they very confident, with an additional 42% saying they are somewhat confident).

State House of Representatives District 115 Special Election

August 11, 2020 - Charleston County


Important Dates & Deadlines

Filing Opens:  Noon, Friday, April 17

Filing Closes:  Noon, Saturday, April 25

Click Here for Candidate Tracking - Get candidate names and information (available after filing opens).

May 10 - Voter Registration Deadline for Primary

June 9 - Primary

June 23 - Primary Runoff

July 12 - Voter Registration Deadline for Special Election

August 11 - Special Election

Candidate Filing Information


COLUMBIA, SC (June 30, 2020) – As of today, the State Election Commission’s voter education website has a new address:  The switch to the .gov domain name was made to help maintain the public’s trust in the information and services provided through the site.

Before the change, was  Having the .gov extension will help voters easily recognize the site as a trusted source of information.  Domain names using the .gov extension are regulated by the federal General Services Administration (GSA) meaning only verified federal, state and local governments can use a .gov address.  Voters will know when they see “,” they have arrived at the official website of the S.C. State Election Commission.

June 23 Runoffs for Statewide Primaries


Sheriff (Dem)


State Senate District 39 (Dem)

State House of Reps District 99 (Rep)


State Senate District 39 (Dem)


State House of Reps District 99 (Rep)

State House of Reps District 109 (Dem)

State House of Reps District 115 (Dem)

State House of Reps District 115 Special (Dem)

County Council District 3 (Dem)


State Senate District 39 (Dem)


Sheriff (Dem)

County Council District 1 (Dem)

County Council District 3 (Dem)


State Senate District 39 (Dem)

State House of Reps District 109 (Dem)


City of Florence Mayor (Dem)


State House of Reps District 35 (Rep)

County Council District 21 (Rep)


County Council at Large (Dem)


State Senate District 33 (Rep)

SEC Statement on Richland County Elections

The South Carolina State Election Commission (SEC) is disappointed with the conduct of yesterday’s primaries in Richland County. We know election officials and poll managers were faced with the extraordinarily difficult task of conducting an election in a pandemic. But yet again, voters were unnecessarily subjected to extreme wait times and confusion at polling places.

For the last several years, the SEC has worked to assist the Richland County Voter Registration and Elections Office (Richland Office) by providing training, guidance and recommendations aimed at improving outcomes. Unfortunately, those efforts have not produced the desired results. We, like the voters of Richland County, continue to be frustrated.

SEC Statement on June 9 Primaries

June 9, 2020

The South Carolina State Election Commission thanks our voters, poll managers and county election officials for the dedication shown today under extraordinary circumstances. 

“The passion and dedication of South Carolinians 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 poll workers and election officials across the state for their tireless work in what has proved to be a long day under trying conditions.”