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Voting Guide

Absentee Voting

NEW ABSENTEE VOTING RULES FOR THE 2020 GENERAL ELECTION

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 scvotes.gov.

Ways to Vote

IN-PERSON

Step 1: Visit your county voter registration office or extension office.

Begins Monday, October 5.

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

Step 2: Complete an application.

Step 3. Cast your ballot. 

BY MAIL

Step 1:  Get your application (available now).

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

OR

Call or email your county voter registration office.  You will be mailed an application. 

A member of a voter's immediate family or Authorized Representative can also request the application (see Authorized Representative below).

Step 2:  Complete, sign and return the application to your county voter registration office.

  • Return by mail, email, fax or personal delivery. 
  • Return as soon as possible and no later than 5:00 p.m., Saturday, October 24.
  • An Authorized Representative must return the application by 5:00 p.m., Friday, October 30 (see Authorized Representative below).

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.  See note at the top of this page regarding witness signatures.
  • Return your ballot either by mail, personal delivery or authorized returnee (see Authorized Returnee below).
  • Your ballot must be received 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 scVOTES.gov.

Check your status

You should check your voter registration status, even if you have already registered and voted before, by going to this link:

Check My Voter Registration