Last updated on November 1, 2016
South Carolina absentee ballot deadlines
- Absentee ballot application deadlines: Received by 5:00 p.m on the 4th day before Election Day, whether delivering in person, by mail, fax or email
- Voted ballots are due: Received by 7:00 p.m. on Election Day, either in person or by mail
South Carolina absentee ballot rules
You may vote by absentee ballot in South Carolina if:
- you are a student away at college (or a spouse or dependent residing with the student)
- you are a member of the Armed Forces, Merchant Marines, Red Cross, USO, government employees (or a spouse or dependent residing with such a person)
- you live overseas
- your job prevents you from voting in person
- you are physically disabled
- you are away on vacation
- you are 65 or older
- you have been admitted to the hospital as an emergency patient on day of election or at least four days prior to Election Day
- there has been a death or funeral in your family within 3 days before Election Day
- you are confined to a jail or pre-trial facility pending disposition of arrest or trial
- you are attending sick or physically disabled persons
- you are on jury duty in state or federal court on Election Day
- you are a certified poll watcher, poll manager, or county election official and you will be working on Election Day
South Carolina absentee ballot directions
- Use our Absentee Ballot Tool to prepare your application.
- Sign and date the form. This is very important!
- Return your completed application to your Local Election Office as soon as possible. We’ll provide the mailing address for you.
- All Local Election Offices will accept mailed or hand-delivered forms. If it’s close to the deadline, call and see if your Local Election Office will let you fax or email the application.
- Make sure your application is received by the deadline. Your application must actually arrive by this time — simply being postmarked by the deadline is insufficient.
- Please contact your Local Election Office if you have any further questions about the exact process.
Once you receive your ballot...
- Once you receive the ballot, carefully read and follow the instructions.
- Place your voted ballot in the accompanying “Ballot Herein” envelope, place that in the return envelope provided.
- Sign the return envelope in the presence of a witness.
- Mail your voted ballot back to the address indicated on the return envelope.
- Your voted ballot must arrive by the deadline or it will not be counted.