How to Vote in South Carolina’s 2024 Elections

Posted on 06/26/24 by Grace Dickinson

En español

Important dates and election information

AARP election buttons final

  • Sunday, Oct. 6: Deadline to register to vote by fax, email or online
  • Monday, Oct. 7: Deadline to register to vote by mail
  • Friday, Oct. 25: Deadline to request absentee ballot 
  • Saturday, Nov. 2: Last day of early in-person voting
  • Tuesday, Nov. 5: General election

Voting at a glance

  • Voter registration: Check your registration status using the state’s online tool
  • Absentee voting: Absentee ballots are available to voters who meet certain qualifications, including people 65 and older and those who have a physical disability.
  • Early voting: All registered voters can vote at county voter registration offices and early voting centers in their county before Election Day. Early voting runs Monday, Oct. 21, through Saturday, Nov. 2, excluding Sunday, Oct. 27. 

Voting at the polls on Election Day: Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 5. Find your polling place using the state’s online voter portal.

Recent voting changes in South Carolina

Changes may impact how you vote in the 2024 general election:

  • In 2022, a law replaced in-person absentee voting with a two-week early voting period.
  • 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 scvotes.gov or by contacting your county voter registration and elections office.

How to register to vote

The deadline to register to vote online, by fax or by email is Sunday, Oct. 6. To register to vote by mail, your application must be postmarked by Monday, Oct. 7. 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 (DMV), plus your Social Security number. 
  • By mail, email or fax: Download and complete a registration form, then mail, email or fax it to your county elections office. Or call your county elections office and ask that a form be mailed or emailed to you.

When registering to vote by mail, email or fax, or in person, you must provide your Social Security number and 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.

Check your voter registration status

Check your registration status using the state’s online tool.

South Carolina Voters Head To Polls During State's Primary
A voter stands at a voting booth in Little Mountain, S.C.
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Registering to vote on Election Day

South Carolina doesn’t permit registration on Election Day.

How to request an absentee ballot

Absentee ballots are available to voters who meet certain qualifications, including people 65 and older, those with a physical disability, and those who can’t vote due to a work obligation or who are out of town during the early voting period and on Election Day. Find a full list of who’s eligible on South Carolina’s election commission website.

Voters may request a by-mail absentee ballot application by calling, visiting or mailing a request to their county elections office. You must provide your name, date of birth and last four digits of your Social Security number.

Once you receive and complete the application, return it:

The deadline to return the request form is 5 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 25.

Immediate family members or registered voters who complete an authorized representative form can request an absentee ballot for someone else. Find more information on the state’s election commission website.

Returning an absentee ballot

If you qualify and apply early for an absentee ballot, you’ll be mailed a ballot roughly 30 days before the election. Return your completed ballot:

  • By mail: Use the provided return envelope to mail your ballot to your county elections office. Election officials recommend mailing your ballot at least one week before Election Day.
  • In person: Hand-deliver your ballot to your county elections office or an early voting center. You must present a valid photo ID, such as a driver’s license, U.S. passport or South Carolina voter registration card (with photo).

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 elections office.

Absentee ballots require a witness signature. Anyone 18 or older can provide a witness signature — a notary is not necessary. Immediate family members and authorized representatives can return someone else’s ballot, as long as both parties sign an authorized returnee form. If designating someone else to return your ballot, the ballot must be returned in person — mailing is not allowed.

Voting in person before Election Day

All voters can cast ballots at county voter registration offices and early voting centers in their county. Early voting runs Monday, Oct. 21, through Saturday, Nov. 2, excluding Sunday, Oct. 27. Polling hours are 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Check scvotes.gov or with your county elections office for locations, which will be posted closer to the date.

You must provide a valid photo ID before voting.

Voting at the polls on Election Day

Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Find your polling place using the state’s online voter portal.

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

Voter ID requirements on Election Day 

When voting in person, you must provide an acceptable form of photo identification, such as a South Carolina driver’s license, U.S. passport or the state’s voter registration card. 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 elections office before the election is certified (Friday, Nov. 8, by 1 p.m.).

Voting with a disability

Voters with disabilities and voters 65 and older may vote absentee. South Carolina allows voters at the polls to receive assistance, as long as the help is not from their employer, an agent of their employer, or an officer or agent of their union. Voters must inform a poll manager if assistance is needed.

Voters who are unable to access their polling place or stand in line to vote due to a disability or being 65 or older may vote in their vehicle, a process called curbside voting.

Find more information on accommodations for voters with disabilities on South Carolina’s election commission website.

Editor’s note: This guide was originally published Jan. 4, 2024, and updated with new information about voting in the 2024 elections.

Grace Dickinson is a writer for aarp.org who covers federal and state policy. She previously wrote for The Philadelphia Inquirer. Her work has also appeared on sites including HuffPost and Eater.

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    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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