The ACLU of SC has worked for more than 50 years to protect and expand the freedom to vote. We need to exercise that freedom now more than ever. 

This year, many of us will be voting differently: by mail, at curbside or ballot drop off sites, or in new polling places. Whether you vote by mail or in person, no one should limit your freedom. Claims of fraud are all about voter suppression and keeping us from expressing our voice. How and when you vote is your choice.

PROTECT ACCESS TO THE BALLOT AS A NONPARTISAN POLL MONITOR!

Sign up today to safeguard the vote on Nov.3!

WHO: People across SC dedicated to safeguarding the vote! Anyone 16 years of age or older is eligible to volunteer. Attorneys, law students, and paralegals are especially encouraged. 

WHAT:  Volunteers will monitor polling locations, direct voters with questions to the national Election Protection hotline, and report concerns to local election monitoring headquarters. Due to COVID-19, volunteers will not be asked to go inside any polling place. We will provide masks for all volunteers to wear. 

WHERE: Polling locations across the state with an emphasis on Beaufort, Charleston, Greenville, Horry and Richland Counties. 

TIME COMMITMENT: All volunteers are required to attend a 1.5 hour training (dates provided below). We ask that volunteers serve at least four hours on Election Day.

Sign up today! 

IMPORTANT DEADLINES:  

  • October 2, 5:00 PM: Deadline to register to vote in person
    Check my registration status 

  • October 4, 11:59 PM: Deadline to register online to vote
    Check my registration status

  • October 5: Deadline to register by mail to vote
    Check my registration status

  • October 24, 5:00 PM: Deadline to apply for absentee by mail ballot  
    Apply ASAP (before Oct. 20th). You most likely will not receive a ballot if you wait until Oct. 24 to apply. More information here.

  • November 2: Deadline to vote absentee in person 

  • November 3: Election Day
    Where do I go to vote on Nov. 3?

  • November 6, 1:00 PM: Deadline for county election boards to hold provisional ballot hearing, certify results, canvass votes, and order any necessary recounts for county-level offices 

If you need help or have additional questions about voting, call 1-866-OUR-VOTE for free, nonpartisan election support.

FAQ: ABSENTEE VOTING BY MAIL
How do I vote absentee by mail?
Absentee voting by mail requires a simple three step process: 

  1. Apply for your ballot online or in person at your county voter registration and elections headquarters.
  2. Receive your ballot and vote. All voters are now qualified to vote absentee under the "State of Emergency" reason. The safest practice at this time is to have your signature witnessed.
  3. Return your ballot. All ballots must be received by 7pm on Nov. 3 or they will not be counted, regardless of postmark.

I applied to vote absentee by mail. When will I receive my ballot? 
If you applied to vote absentee before Oct. 1 and do not receive your ballot by Oct. 9, call your county board of elections and voter registration. 

During the primary, I applied to vote absentee by mail for both the primary and the general elections. When will I receive my ballot? 
Sometime in early October. If you haven’t received your ballot by the 9th, call your county board of elections and voter registration.  

Can anyone witness my ballot? 
Yes! Anyone can witness your ballot, even a member of your family or a person who lives at the same address.

How do I check the status of my absentee ballot request? 
You can check the status of your ballot request here

Can I drop my absentee ballot off without going inside? 
In Charleston, you can drop your absentee ballot off at the county board of elections and voter registration office (24-7) or at one of the early in person voting locations (during operational hours). In other SC counties, call your county board of elections and voter registration or 1-866-OUR-VOTE.

What happens to my ballot after I mail it in? 
Different counties follow different processes. Some counties will begin sorting ballots by issues that are identifiable by looking at the envelope (i.e., missing signature). Some counties will start opening ballots but will not count ballots. Saturday, Oct. 31 is when counties are allowed to start processing ballots but counties will not tabulate votes until Nov. 3. Some counties (including Charleston) will contact voters with issues and allow voters an opportunity to remedy, but not all counties do this. 

I received my absentee ballot too late to mail it back in time. Can I still go to my precinct and vote? 
NO: You must go to your county board of elections and voter registration. You can also take your ballot with you to an early in-person absentee location before Nov. 3. Poll workers will destroy your paper absentee ballot and let you vote on a machine. For more information about in-person absentee voting, call your county board of elections and voter registration or 1-866-OUR-VOTE. 

I have a criminal record. Am I eligible to vote?
Many people with criminal records CAN vote in South Carolina! Click here for more details from our partners at Root and Rebound


FAQ: IN PERSON ABSENTEE VOTING
When can I vote absentee in person?
In person absentee voting begins on October 5. 

Where do I go to vote absentee in person?

Do I need to apply in advance to vote absentee in person?
No, you do not need to apply in advance. When you show up to vote absentee in person, you will be asked your reasoning for voting absentee. All SC voters are allowed to use “state of emergency” as an excuse. 

I want to vote in person absentee but I am not able to stand in line. What are my options?

In Charleston County, all early in person voting locations will have curbside voting. If you live outside of Charleston County, call your county board of elections and voter registration to confirm. 

I have a criminal record. Am I eligible to vote?
Many people with criminal records CAN vote in South Carolina! Click here for more details from our partners at Root and Rebound

If you need help or have additional questions about voting, call 1-866-OUR-VOTE for free, nonpartisan election support.

FAQ: VOTING ON ELECTION DAY
Where can I go to vote?
Find your precinct location here

I’m not sure where my polling location is, and I can’t find the latest information on the website. Where can I vote?
Call 1-866-OUR-VOTE for more information. If you still cannot find your precinct location, you can go to your county board of elections and voter registration to vote on Election Day. 

What if my polling place opens late or closes early, or if the machines are broken?
Call 1-866-OUR-VOTE immediately for free assistance.  

Can I vote if I’m still waiting in line after the polls close?
YES. Whatever you do, STAY IN LINE. If you are in line before 7pm on Nov. 3, you have the right to cast a ballot. If anyone tells you differently, call 1-866-OUR-VOTE immediately for free assistance. 

I have a disability. How can I vote in person on Election Day?
For more information about voting accommodations for people with disabilities, click here


I have a criminal record. Am I eligible to vote?
Many people with criminal records CAN vote in South Carolina! Click here for more details from our partners at Root and Rebound


What do I need to bring with me on Election Day to vote?
You will need one of the following types of IDs:

  • SC Driver's License (Includes standard license and REAL ID)
  • SC Department of Motor Vehicles ID Card (Includes standard ID card, REAL ID, and SC Concealed Weapons Permit)
  • SC Voter Registration Card with Photo
  • Federal Military (Includes all Department of Defense Photo IDs and Veterans Affairs Benefits Card)
  • US Passport (Includes US Passport ID Card)

I don’t have an ID. Can I still vote?
YES! You will be allowed to cast a provisional ballot after signing a reasonable impediment affidavit. Read more about this process here

I have an ID but I forgot it. Can I still vote?
You will be allowed to cast a provisional ballot, but it will only be counted if you take your ID to your county board of elections and voter registration PRIOR to certification on Nov. 6. 

Certification? What’s that?

  • During certification, county boards of election certify votes and present a final vote count to the SC Election Commission, including provisional ballots cast on Election Day and paper ballots cast by people who couldn’t vote on a machine on Election Day.
  • During certification hearings, county boards review provisional ballots and paper ballots and make a decision about whether they count. The certification process has not traditionally included absentee by mail ballots, but that could change.
  • All election results are unofficial until certification on Nov. 6. County hearings will happen on the 6th before 1PM. All county boards are required to submit results to the SC Election Commission by 1PM on Nov. 6. 

If you need help or have additional questions about voting, call 1-866-OUR-VOTE for free, nonpartisan election support.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:
Election Protection
League of Women Voters SC
Vote 411
SC Election Commission 
Missing Voter Project