How to Register to Vote in South Carolina?
Voting has come a long way in the past two centuries in the U.S. From only white men being allowed to vote, to every citizen under 18 being eligible, proves that somewhere within every one of us is the power to change the world. From only white men owning property to the disabled elderly; the numerous amendments passed have made it possible for everyone to vote. The struggles of the past have reaped fruits for the future. In the words of the famous novelist Roald Dahl, "Somewhere inside of all of us is the power to change the world."
Eligibility to vote in South Carolina
To be able to vote in South Carolina, the applicant must
- Be a U.S. citizen
- Be at least 18 years old on or before the next election
- Be a resident of South Carolina, applicant county and precinct
- Not be declared or proved mentally incompetent by a court of law
- Not be incarcerated, on parole, or probation, due to a felony conviction. Voting rights are restored once the full sentence is served or pardoned.
South Carolina does not require a voter to be a resident of the state for a specified period.
How to register to vote in South Carolina?
In South Carolina, one must register to vote at least 30 days before the next election. The applicant can register to vote
- Online or
- by mail or
- in person or
- by fax or
- by email
Online: The applicant can register online through South Carolina’s State Election Commission's online portal. To register online, the applicant must South Carolina Driver’s license. The applicant’s current address must be on the DMV file. If the application does not have a driver's license, he/she can apply for a free ID card through the South Carolina DMV.
In person: An applicant can register in person at the county board of registration or DMV office by requesting a voter registration form. The applicant can also download and complete the South Carolina Voter Registration Mail Application before the visit and submit.
By mail, email and fax: To register by mail, the applicant has to complete the South Carolina Voter Registration Mail Application then either mail, email or fax it to the local county board of registration.
The following proof has to be provided while applying to register to vote.
- Proof of identity and date of birth
- Proof of U.S. citizenship
- Social security number
- Proof of South Carolina residency
The social security number is provided so that the election board can eliminate multiple registrations by a single individual.
Military and overseas voter registration in South Carolina
South Carolina residents who are active members of the army, their dependents, and the residents living overseas can register to vote with the Federal Voting Assistance Program. To record, the applicant has to complete the Voter Registration and Absentee Ballot Request Federal Post Card Application Form and complete all the requisite information. The application has to be submitted to the county elections office or offer online. The applicant will be registered as Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act voter.
Absentee registration in South Carolina
South Carolina residents who are qualified to vote absentee but has not registered to vote has to register first online, by mail, in person, by email or by fax. One he/she is designated as a voter and qualified to vote absentee, the applicant can register to vote absentee in person or by mail.
Persona qualified to register as an absentee
- Members of the Armed Forces or Merchant Marine serving outside South Carolina and their spouses/dependents residing with them.
- Persons serving with the American Red Cross or with the United Service Organizations serving with the Armed Forces outside South Carolina and their spouses and dependents residing with them
- Overseas Citizens
- Physically disabled residents of South Carolina
- Students attending school outside of South Carolina, their spouse/dependents living with them
- Government employees are serving outside South Carolina and their spouses/dependents residing with them.
- Voters aged 60 or above
- Certified poll watchers, poll managers, and county election officials working on Election Day
There are several other reasons listed to cast an absentee ballot by a registered voter. One must remember the words said by President John Quincy Adams: “Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.”