COLUMBIA, SC (March 15, 2020) - The S.C. State Election Commission (SEC) is monitoring developments related to 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) and working with the Governor's office to take actions necessary to ensure the health and safety of candidates and election officials during the 2020 March Filing Period.
Candidate filing will open at noon on March 16, 2020 and will close at noon on March 30, 2020. All partisan candidates seeking office in the November 3, 2020 General Election must file during this period.
The SEC is taking actions to provide for continuity of operations and to protect the health and safety of candidates and election officials at the state office as well as directing county boards to do the same. These actions include:
- Providing hand sanitizing stations.
- Frequent cleaning of common surfaces.
- Providing one-time use pens for signing documents. Candidates are also encouraged to bring their own pen.
- Providing signage to remind staff and visitors to practice good hygiene and social distancing, including refraining from shaking hands.
- Encouraging candidates to file as early as possible during the filing period due to the developing nature of the coronavirus threat.
- Encouraging candidates to make an appointment to file. Appointments will be spaced 15 minutes apart to reduce the number of candidates in the office at the same time. Appointments are optional.
- Urging candidates to refrain from bringing unnecessary guests with them to file. This will help reduce the number of people in the office at the same time.
- Ensuring candidates are aware of the option to file by agent. This option may be particularly helpful to candidates who have underlying health conditions, are self-isolating, or are quarantined. Candidates may have any other person deliver a notarized Statement of Intention of Candidacy & Party Pledge form and any necessary filing fee check to the appropriate filing office.
- Designating appropriate staff as essential personnel to provide for ongoing operation in the event of state or county office closures.
- Training adequate backup staff to ensure continuity of operations in the event staff must be absent due to the impact of the virus.