How to Vote in South Carolina’s 2024 Elections

Posted on 02/26/24 by Emily Paulin

En español

Important dates and election information

Key dates

  • Statewide primary election: Tuesday, June 11
  • General election: Tuesday, Nov. 5

Voting at a glance

  • Absentee voting: Absentee ballots are available only to some voters, including people 65 and older, those who are sick or physically disabled, and those who can’t vote due to a work obligation or will be out of town during the entire early voting period and on Election Day. You’ll need a witness signature to cast an absentee ballot. 
  • Early voting: All registered voters can vote at early voting centers prior to Election Day.
  • Voting at the polls: Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Voting in South Carolina 

What to know about recent changes 

Redistricting in 2022 redrew the boundaries of certain state legislative and U.S. congressional districts. Note that litigation over congressional districts is ongoing. Confirm your voting district by checking your voter registration on or by contacting your county voter registration and elections office.

Voter registration 

You can register to vote:

  • Online: Use the state’s online voter registration portal. You’ll need a valid South Carolina driver’s license or ID card from the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles. 

When registering to vote by mail, email or fax, or in person, you must provide a copy of any current valid photo ID or a utility bill, bank statement, paycheck or government document showing your name and address in your county.

The deadline to register to vote for the state primary is Friday, May 10, for in-person applications (unless your county board holds weekend hours), or Sunday, May 12, for online, fax or email applications, and Monday, May 13, for by-mail applications. Mail-in applications that are postmarked on the registration deadline are acceptable.

Updating your registration 

Check your registration using the state’s voter information portal. You can update your registration by submitting an online voter registration form; downloading and submitting a change of address form to your county board; visiting your county board; or filling out the back of your voter registration card and mailing it to your county board.

Primary voting and party affiliation

South Carolina voters don’t register by party, so you can choose which primary to vote in. But you can vote in only one.

South Carolina Voters Head To Polls During State's Primary
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Ways to vote 

Requesting an absentee ballot 

Absentee ballots are available only to some voters, including people 65 and older, those who are sick or physically disabled, those who can’t vote due to a work obligation or will be out of town during the entire early voting period and on Election Day, and members of the military and their spouses and dependents. The state election commission’s website features a full list of those eligible.

Voters must request an absentee ballot application form by calling, visiting or mailing a request to their county board. You must provide your name, date of birth and last four digits of your Social Security Number. There’s no option to download the application form online. Application forms are then mailed to voters.

Once complete, application forms must be submitted either:

  • In person: Drop off a completed application at your county board

Applications must officially be received — not just postmarked — 5 p.m. on the application deadline, which is Friday, May 31, for South Carolina’s primary.

Immediate family members or registered voters who complete an authorized representative form can request an absentee ballot for someone else.

Returning your absentee ballot

Voters who apply for absentee ballots early are mailed their ballots roughly 30 days before the election. You can return your completed absentee ballot:

  • By mail: Post to your county board. Election officials recommend you mail your ballot at least a week before Election Day.
  • In person: Hand-deliver your ballot to your county board or an early voting center. Note that you cannot return your absentee ballot to polling places on Election Day. A valid photo ID, including a driver’s license, U.S. passport or South Carolina voter registration card, is required when returning an absentee ballot in person. 

Ballots must be received — not postmarked — by 7 p.m. on Election Day. You can check the status of your ballot via the state’s voter information portal or by contacting your county board.

Absentee ballots require a witness signature. Anyone 18 or older can provide a witness signature — a notary is not necessary. Immediate family members or registered voters who complete an authorized representative form can return someone else’s ballot.

Voting in person before Election Day

All voters can cast ballots at early voting centers in their county.

Early voting for the South Carolina primary runs from Tuesday, May 28, to Friday, June 7 (closed Saturdays and Sundays), from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Locations of early voting centers will be posted online at least two weeks prior to the start of early voting, or you can check with your county board.

Voting at the polls on Election Day 

You'll be able to cast a ballot as long as you're in line before polls close. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Election Day. Use the state’s voter information portal to find your polling place, or contact your county board.

The primary elections for congressional and statewide offices are Tuesday, June 11, and runoff elections for those elections will take place on Tuesday, June 25, for any races in which no candidate gets a majority of the votes.

Identification requirements 

If you’re voting in person, either on Election Day or through early voting, you’ll need an acceptable form of photo identification, such as a South Carolina driver’s license, U.S. passport, state voter registration card with photo or federal military ID. If you forget your ID on Election Day, you can cast a provisional ballot but will need to bring a valid photo ID to your county board before the election is certified.

Voting with a disability

Alongside allowing voters with disabilities to vote absentee, South Carolina allows voters with disabilities to receive assistance when voting in person, as long as the assistant is not your employer, an agent of your employer, or an officer or agent of your union. Voters must inform a poll manager if they require assistance. Also, voters who are unable to access their polling place or stand in line to vote due to a disability or being age 65 or older may vote in their vehicle, called curbside voting.

For more information on accommodations for voters with disabilities, visit the state election commission’s website.

More information about candidates and races

Key races

  • U.S. President 
  • U.S. House: All 7 seats 
  • State Senate: All 46 seats
  • State House: All 124 seats

Sample ballots are available via the state’s voter information portal.

Editor’s note: This guide was updated on Feb. 26, 2024, with new information about voting in the 2024 primary elections.

Emily Paulin covers nursing homes, health care and federal and state policy for AARP. Her work has also appeared in Broadsheet, an Australian lifestyle publication.

Also of Interest

This story is provided by AARP South Carolina. Visit the AARP South Carolina page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.

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