South Carolina absentee and mail ballot guide
South Carolina absentee ballot overview
Absentee ballots and mail ballots are the same thing, and the process for getting one is straight forward.
- Request your ballot by the deadline
- Receive your in ballot in the mail
- Return your ballot by the deadline
South Carolina absentee deadlines
- Earliest day to apply: January 1
- Request deadline (online): N/A
- Request deadline (by mail): Received by 11 days before Election Day
- Request deadline (in person): 11 days before Election Day
- Deadline to return your ballot (by mail): Received by Election Day
- Deadline to return your ballot (in person): Received by Election Day
South Carolina absentee ballot rules
You can vote by absentee ballot in South Carolina if:
- you are physically disabled
- you are away at school
- you are unable to vote on Election Day due to work, illness, or a death in the family
- you will be outside of your county on Election Day
- you will be serving as a juror in state or federal court on Election Day
- you are 65 years of age or older
- you are unable to vote at polling locations due to religious observances (presidential primaries only)
- you are a member of the Armed Forces, Merchant Marines, American Red Cross, or the spouse or dependent of someone who is
South Carolina online ballot request
South Carolina does not allow you to request your ballot online.
South Carolina by-mail ballot request
- Visit the South Carolina vote by mail website.
- Fill out all of the required fields.
- Print the application.
- Sign and date your application. This is very important.
- Mail or hand-deliver your completed application directly to your local election office as soon as possible, but no later than the deadline.
- If it’s close to the deadline, call your local election office and see if they will let you submit your application via email or fax.
- Your application must be received by 11 days before Election Day.
South Carolina in-person ballot request
- Visit your local election office.
- Ask the clerk to give you an absentee ballot application.
- Fill out all of the required fields.
- Sign and date your application.
- The deadline to apply in person is 11 days before Election Day.
After you receive your ballot
- Carefully read and follow the instructions, and fill out all required fields.
- Sign and date the outside envelope.
- Mail or hand-deliver your ballot to your local election office.
- If you mail your ballot, it must be received by Election Day.
- If you hand-deliver your ballot, it must be received by Election Day.
- If you miss the deadline – or forget to sign the outside envelope – your vote will not be counted.
South Carolina absentee ballot ID requirements
- ID required when requesting a mail-in ballot:
- Online application: You must include the last 4 digits of your social security number.
- Paper application: You must include your voter registration number.
- ID required when returning a mail-in ballot:
To return your voted ballot you will be required to sign the voter's oath and have your signature witnessed. The signature on the return envelope will be compared to the signature on your voter registration card to ensure they match. If you forget to sign the return envelope, your ballot might be rejected.
South Carolina absentee ballot tracker
Track your ballot here: South Carolina absentee ballot tracker
South Carolina absentee ballot curing
Ballot curing is the process of resolving any problems with your absentee or mail ballot to ensure that your vote is counted. After tracking your ballot, contact your local election office to fix any issues that have been noted.
- Your ballot will be rejected if you forget to sign it, or if you forget to have your ballot signed by a witness.
- You must make corrections by 7:00 pm on Election Day for your vote to count.
South Carolina emergency ballots
Some states have special procedures that allow you to obtain an emergency ballot if a medical or other emergency occurs after the standard absentee ballot application window.
Emergency Ballot Rules
If you are admitted to a hospital within the 4 days before Election Day, you may designate a family member obtain an a ballot, bring it to you to vote, and then return your voted ballot.
Dates & Deadlines
- Emergency ballot request ends Election Day
- Emergency ballot return deadline is Election Day
Contact your local election office
Local election office
Contact your local election office if you have questions.
Statewide election office
This is the statewide agency that is ultimately responsible for South Carolina elections. You can contact them with questions, but your local election office will probably respond faster.
State Election Commission P.O. Box 5987 Columbia, SC 29250‐5987