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All information provided by the South Carolina, Richland, and Lexington County Election Commissions. For the most up to date information, visit

Absentee Voting


General Information

H.5305/R.149, signed into law on September 16, 2020, made significant changes to absentee voting rules for the November 3, 2020 General Election.

  • All voters are now qualified to vote absentee under the “State of Emergency” reason.

    • “State of Emergency” does not apply to any other election.

  • Deadline to apply for an absentee by mail ballot:

    • Applications for absentee-by-mail ballots must be received by the voter registration office by 5:00 p.m., Saturday, October 24

    • An Authorized Representative acting on behalf of a voter who is unable to go to the polls due to an illness or disability may return the application by 5:00 p.m., Friday, October 30.

Witness Signature

  • At this time, a court has ruled you do not need a witness signature on your absentee return envelope for your ballot to count.  However, it is possible this court ruling could change.  The safest practice at this time is to have your signature witnessed.  The public will be notified of any changes to the witness requirement through the media and at

Satellite Voting Locations

Richland County Administration Building

2020 Hampton St., Columbia, SC 29204

October 5, 2020 - November 2, 2020 Monday through Friday, 8:30 am - 5:00 pm

Garners Ferry Adult Activity Center

8620 Garners Ferry Road, Hopkins, SC 29061

October 7, 2020 - November 2, 2020 Monday through Friday, 8:30 am - 5:00 pm

Adult Activity Center (Parklane)

7494 Parklane Road, Columbia, SC 29223

October 7, 2020 - November 2, 2020 Monday through Friday, 8:30 am - 5:00 pm

Ballentine Community Center

1009 Bickley Road, Irmo, SC 29063

October 7, 2020 - November 2, 2020 Monday through Friday, 8:30 am - 5:00 pm

North Springs Park Community Center

1320 Clemson Road, Columbia, SC 29229

October 7, 2020 - November 2, 2020 Monday through Friday, 8:30 am - 5:00 pm

Masonic Temple

2324 Gervais St., Columbia, SC 29204

October 7, 2020 – November 2, 2020 Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

How to Vote Absentee in the 2020 General Election

In Person

Step 1:

Visit your county voter registration office or extension office.

Richland County | Lexington County

Step 2:

 Complete an application.

Step 3. 

Cast your ballot. 

Begins Monday, October 5.

Ends 5:00 p.m., Monday, November 2.

By Mail

Step 1:

 Get your application.

Get the application online. (You must be able to print your application)


Call or email your county voter registration office. 

Richland County | Lexington County​

Step 2:

 Complete, sign and return the application to your county voter registration office by mail, email, fax or personal delivery.

(Return as soon as possible and no later than 5:00 p.m., Saturday, October 24)

Step 3: 

 Receive your absentee ballot in the mail. 

Step 4:  

Vote and return the ballot to your county voter registration office or extension office.

Be sure to sign the voter's oath and return your ballot either by mail or personal delivery by 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 3.

If returning your ballot by mail, mail it as soon as possible, preferably a week before election day, to help ensure timely delivery.

You can check the status of your absentee ballot at


Authorized Representative

  • An Authorized Representative (Representative) is a registered voter who acts on behalf of a voter who is unable to go to the polls because of either:

    • An illness or disability resulting in the voter’s confinement in a hospital, sanatorium, nursing home, or place of residence; or

    • A handicap rendering the voter unable to vote at his polling place due to existing architectural barriers that deny him physical access to the polling places, voting booth, or voting apparatus or machinery.

  • Candidates and paid campaign workers may not serve as a Representative except for immediate family members.

  • A Representative must complete the Authorized Representative form.

  • A Representative may:

    • Request a voter’s application.

    • Return the application through 5:00 p.m., Friday, October 30.

  • The ballot will be mailed to the voter.


Authorized Returnee

  • An Authorized Returnee (Returnee) is a person who can be authorized by any voter to return the voter’s absentee by mail ballot.

  • Candidates and paid campaign workers may not serve as a Returnee except for immediate family members.

  • The voter and Returnee must complete the Authorization to Return Absentee Ballot form.  The Returnee must present the form when returning the ballot.

Voter Registration

General Information

Who Can Register?

In order to vote, South Carolina law requires one must first register to vote at least 30 days prior to the election.

To be eligible to register in South Carolina you MUST:

  • be a United States citizen

  • be at least eighteen years old on or before the next election

  • be a resident of South Carolina in the county and precinct in which you are registering

  • not be under a court order declaring you mentally incompetent

  • not be confined in any public prison resulting from a conviction of a crime

  • have never been convicted of a felony or offense against the election laws OR if previously convicted, have served the entire sentence, including probation or parole, or have received a pardon for the conviction.


Students may register to vote where they reside while attending college. This could be at an address in the college community (e.g., a dormitory) or at an address you intend to return to while not in the college community (e.g., family home). For guidance in determining what residence to claim for voter registration purposes, see S.C. Code of Laws Section 7-1-25. Many college students who live on campus receive their mail at a campus post office box. These students must register at the physical address of their dormitory. The student's P.O. Box can be provided for mailing and contact purposes.


Convicted Felons

Formerly incarcerated individuals in South Carolina are legally allowed to vote. If convicted for a misdemeanor, individuals may register to vote normally after their time is served. If convicted for a felony, individuals may register normally as long as they are not currently on probation, parole, or do not owe outstanding court fees. This can be done at the county election office or at

What address do I use?

You must register at the address where you reside.  For guidance in determining what residence to claim for voter registration purposes, see S.C. Code of Laws Section 7-1-25.

When can I register?

There is no length of residency requirement in South Carolina in order to register to vote. You can register at any time. You must be registered at least 30 days prior to any election in order to vote in that election. Registration by mail applications must be postmarked at least 30 days prior to that particular election to be eligible. If the deadline falls on a Sunday or U.S. Postal Service holiday, the postmark deadline is extended to the next day that is not a Sunday or holiday. 

Check/Update My Voter Registration Information

Click Here to Check Your Registration

Note: When checking your voter registration information, you must provide your name, county, and date of birth as it appears on your voter registration card in order to view your information.

If you have an S.C. Driver's License or DMV ID card, you can update your address using the online voter registration application.  If you haven't updated your DMV address, you must do that first:

  1. Update your address with DMV

  2. Update your voter registration address 

If your voter registration information has changed (name, address, etc.), and you still live within the same county, you may update your voter registration information using this form. If you have moved to a different county, you will need to re-register in your new county.

General Election

Important Dates

September 28th - In-person absentee voting starts

October 2nd - Deadline to register in person

October 4th - Deadline to register online

October 5th - Deadline to register to vote by mail

October 27th - Last recommended day to mail absentee ballot

October 30th - Deadline to apply for a mail-in absentee ballot

November 2nd - Deadline to vote in-person absentee

November 3rd - Election Day

Voter Protection

The SCDP has created a dedicated voter protection task force for the 2020 General Election. The task force will operate a voter protection hotline, place poll watchers at precincts, and work with the SC Election Commission to ensure every South Carolinian may cast their ballot.

Voter Protection Hotline: (855)785-0222

Voter Protection Website

Poll Watcher Sign-Up

Polling Locations

If you plan to vote on election day, it is important to know where you will vote as precincts are subject to changes and closures. To find out where you will vote click here.

Poll Workers

State and county election officials know many of our long-serving and dedicated poll managers, particularly those that fall into high-risk categories, have decided that working the polls in November is not worth the associated risk to their health.  The SEC understands and respects each and every poll manager’s decision on whether to serve in this challenging time. If you are willing and able to serve, South Carolina needs you.  The fact is we must have poll managers to have elections.  Unless new poll managers step up to serve, we expect counties will have to close and consolidate polling places, which can cause large crowds and longer lines for voters. 

The SEC and county election officials are taking steps to help make polling places as safe as possible for voters and poll managers, including: providing masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, sanitizing wipes, and disposable cotton swabs for making touchscreen selections.  We will also provide online training when possible and small-group, socially-distanced training when necessary.

Apply to be a poll worker

Join Dick Harpootlian

for SC State Senate!

Absentee Voting
Voter Registration
General Election

ELECTION DAY 2020: To find your polling location, click here.


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