Early voting begins Monday ahead of November election
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - South Carolina voters who want to beat the Election Day rush can cast their ballots beginning Monday.
The state’s Early Voting period begins on Monday morning at county voting centers, the State Election Commission says.
Early voting is available Monday through Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Polls will not be open on Sundays. The last day to vote early will be Nov. 5.
Voters should check with their county voter registration office for the location of their early voting polling place or visit SCVotes.gov.
Voters must present a valid photo ID when checking in to vote. Acceptable forms of photo ID are a South Carolina Driver’s License, either a standard license or REAL ID; a South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles ID card, either a standard ID or a REAL ID and includes a South Carolina Concealed Weapons permit; an SC Voter Registration Card with Photo; a federal military ID, which would include all Department of Defense photo IDs and Veterans Affairs Benefit Cards; or a U.S. Passport.
If you do not have any of the above, you can obtain a free photo ID from your county voter registration and elections office or your local SCDMV office.
Voters who wish to vote absentee can only do by mail prior to Election Day. Qualified voters who can vote absentee include:
- Persons with employment obligations which prevent them from voting during early voting hours for the duration of the early voting period, and during the hours the polls are open on election day.
- Persons attending a sick or physically disabled person which prevents them from voting during early voting hours for the duration of the early voting period, and during the hours the polls are open on election day.
- Persons confined to a jail or pretrial facility pending disposition of arrest or trial which prevents them from voting during early voting hours for the duration of the early voting period, and during the hours the polls are open on election day.
- Persons who will be absent from their county of residence during early voting hours for the duration of the early voting period, and during the hours the polls are open on election day.
- Persons with physical disabilities.
- Persons sixty-five years of age or older.
- Members of the Armed Forces and Merchant Marines of the United States, their spouses, and dependents residing with them.
- Persons admitted to a hospital as an emergency patient on the day of the election or within a four-day period before the election.
The deadline to request an absentee ballot is 5 p.m. on Friday. Voters should call their county voter registration office to be mailed an application, which they must complete, sign and return by mail or in person to the same office as soon as possible but no later than the deadline on Friday.
Once voters receive their absentee ballot, they must complete it, sign the voter’s oath and have your signature witnessed. Anyone age 18 or older may witness your signature. A notary is not necessary.
The absentee ballot must be returned by mail or in person. But they must be received by your county voter registration office by 7 p.m. on Nov. 8.
Gov. Henry McMaster signed into law on May 13 legislation passed by the General Assembly establishing early voting in the state. His signature came in time to make the first early voting period available for the state’s primaries back in June.
Early voting replaced in-person absentee voting.
Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Nov. 8 for the general election.
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