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.
Received by 5:00 PM the day immediately preceding Election Day if delivered in-person.
- 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 will be away from the county of your residence on Election Day AND one of the following:
- you are a student away at college (or a spouse or dependent residing with the student);
- you are serving with the American Red Cross or with the United Service Organization (USO) and are attached to and serving with the Armed Forces (or a spouse or dependent residing with such a person);
- you are a government employee (or a spouse or dependent residing with such a person);
- you are on vacation;
- you live overseas.
You may vote by absentee ballot in South Carolina whether or not you will be away from the county of your residence if:
- you are physically disabled;
- your job prevents you from voting;
- you are a certified poll watcher, poll manager, or county election official and you will be working on Election Day;
- you are attending yo sick or physically disabled persons;
- 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 three days before Election Day;
- you are on jury duty in state or federal court on Election Day;
- you are 65 or older;
- you are confined to a jail or pre-trial facility pending disposition of arrest or trial;
- you are a member of the Armed Forces or Merchant Marines (or a spouse or dependent residing with such a person).
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.