Absentee voting in SC is pretty much early voting

Reality Check

Technically no, we don’t have early voting in South Carolina. However, the rules for Absentee Voting in our state leave the doors wide open if you want to get it done now.

“Absentee voting is early voting with an excuse,” said Isaac Cramer, Absentee Coordinator for the Charleston County Board of Elections.

Here’s the list:

  1. Members of the Armed Forces or Merchant Marine serving outside their county of residence and their spouses and dependents residing with them 
  2. Persons serving with the American Red Cross or with the United Service Organizations (USO) who are attached to and serving with the Armed Forces outside their county of residence and their spouses and dependents residing with them
  3. Overseas Citizens
  4. Persons who are physically disabled
  5. Students attending school outside their county of residence and their spouses and dependents residing with them
  6. Persons who for reasons of employment will not be able to vote on election day
  7. Government employees serving outside their county of residence on Election Day and their spouses and dependents residing with them
  8. Persons who plan to be on vacation outside their county of residence on Election Day
  9. Persons serving as a juror in state or federal court on Election Day
  10. Persons admitted to the hospital as emergency patients on Election Day or within a four-day period before the election
  11. Persons with a death or funeral in the family within three days before the election
  12. Persons confined to a jail or pre-trial facility pending disposition of arrest or trial
  13. Persons attending sick or physically disabled persons
  14. Certified poll watchers, poll managers, and county election officials working on Election Day
  15. Persons sixty-five years of age or older
  16. Persons who for religious reasons do not want to vote on a Saturday (Presidential Primaries Only)

No matter the reason, the Board of Elections doesn’t have an “absentee police force”. They will take your word for it.

“The only thing we can actually verify for absentee voting is whether you’re over the age of 65, because we have your date of birth in the system,” said Cramer. “We’re not requiring you to show us your travel tickets or your hotel stay, or proof that you’re working on election day. We just take your word for it and you’re signing a piece of paper which is the application that is affirming that that is true, so that is how we check that.”

Each county has in-person absentee voting locations. Click on your county below for locations and times.

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