Voting on Election Day
Beginning January 1, 2013, you will be asked to show one of the following Photo IDs at your polling place:
- S.C. Driver’s License
- ID Card issued by S.C. Department of Motor Vehicles
- S.C. Voter Registration Card with Photo
- Federal Military ID
- U.S. Passport
How to Get a Photo ID
If you do not currently have one of the Photo IDs above, you can make your voting experience as fast and easy as possible by getting one free of charge:
- Registered voters can get a voter registration card with a photo from their county voter registration and elections office by simply providing their date of birth and the last four digits of their Social Security Number. Click here to learn how to register to vote.
- Get a DMV ID card at a local DMV office. Check with DMV or for required documents.
If You Do Not Have a Photo ID on Election Day
If you have a reasonable impediment to obtaining Photo ID, you may vote a provisional ballot after showing your non-photo voter registration card. A reasonable impediment is any valid reason, beyond your control, which created an obstacle to obtaining Photo ID. Some examples include:
- Religious objection to being photographed
- Disability or illness
- Work schedule
- Lack of transportation
- Lack of birth certificate
- Family responsibilities
- Election within short time frame of implementation of Photo ID law (January 1, 2013)
- Any other obstacle you find reasonable
To vote under the reasonable impediment exception:
- Present your current, non-photo registration card at the polling place
- Sign an affidavit stating why you could not obtain a Photo ID
- Cast a provisional ballot that will be counted unless the county election commission has reason to believe your affidavit is false.
If you do NOT have Photo ID and do NOT have a reasonable impediment to obtaining one, or you simply forgot to bring it with you to the polls, you may still vote a provisional ballot. However, for your vote to be counted, you must provide one of the Photo IDs to the county election commission prior to certification of the election (usually Thursday or Friday after the election).
Polling places are open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Election Day. Anyone in line at 7:00 p.m. will be allowed to vote.
For more information on voting using S.C.’s touchscreen voting machine see:
Where to Vote
Check Your Vote
Check the status of your provisional ballot
Check the status of your absentee ballot
Failsafe voting is designed to allow voters who have moved but failed to update their address to update their address on election day and vote. Failsafe voting is available to voters in the following situations:
- Voter moves from one address to another within the same precinct.
- Voter moves from one precinct to another within the same county.
- Voter moves from one South Carolina county to another within 30 days of an election.
- Voter moves from one state to another after the deadline to register to vote in a Presidential election in the new state of residence.
Voter moves from one address to another within the same precinct.
Voter may vote a full ballot at the precinct after completing a change of address form.
Voter moves from one precinct to another within the same county.
Voter has two options:
1. Go to previous polling place and vote a limited, failsafe ballot containing only federal, statewide, and countywide offices. The voter’s updated address is recorded on failsafe ballot envelope.
2. Go to voter registration office, complete a change of address form, and vote a full ballot.
Voter moves from one South Carolina county to another within 30 days of an election
Voter has two options:
1. Go to polling place in previous county of residence and vote a limited, failsafe ballot containing only federal, statewide, and countywide offices. The voter’s updated address is recorded on failsafe ballot envelope.
2. Go to voter registration office in current county of residence, complete a change of address form, and vote a full ballot.
Voter moves from one state to another after the deadline to register to vote in a Presidential election in the new state of residence.
The voter may vote an absentee ballot containing only President. The voter should contact the appropriate absentee voting office in his previous state and county of residence.
Failsafe Voting in Municipal Elections
Failsafe voting also applies to municipal elections, with one exception:
A voter must have resided within the municipality for 30 days or more prior to the election to be eligible to vote. So if a voter has moved from outside a specific municipality to inside that municipality and the move occurred after the 30 day mark; failsafe does not apply.
Voting Systems Used
All 46 South Carolina counties use direct recording electronic voting machines.The voter makes his/her selections by pressing a button beside a party, candidate or issue displayed on the direct recording electronic (DRE) voting machine. After all selections have been made, the voter presses a VOTE button to cast his/her ballot.
All 46 South Carolina counties use optical scan ballots for all mail-out absentee ballots. The voter shades in a block beside the name of the party, candidate or issue in which he/she wishes to vote using a marking pen or pencil.
For more information or to address issues concerning voting on Election Day, contact your County Election Commission.