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The 2020 primary election in SC

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I Voted | Photo via @teenytinyjenn

As they say the show must go on, or, in this case, the South Carolina primary election will go on as scheduled. The South Carolina Election Commission has stated that the organization has no authority to delay the primaries so South Carolinians can cast their vote on June 9, as planned

So, now what? Let us break it down for you. For starters, see if you’re registered to vote here.

How to cast your vote. 

Every voter in South Carolina is now qualified to vote absentee on June 9. Gov. Henry McMaster signed new legislation into law on May 13 that allows any voter to vote absentee in any election in June 2020. All voters now have two options to exercise their right to vote in the 2020 statewide primaries + runoffs.

Absentee Ballot

In Person – Visit the county voter registration office in your county of residence, bring your photo ID + cast your ballot. You may vote absentee in person until 5:00 p.m. on the day before the election

By Mail – Voters can request an absentee application in one of two ways. Photo ID is not required to vote absentee by mail.

  1. Get the application online for yourself or your immediate family member. You must be able to print your application or save your application for printing later.    
  2. Request an application from the county voter registration office in your county of residence by phone, mail, email, or fax. You will be mailed an application.  

Once you’ve printed the application online or received the application in the mail, complete + sign the application and return it to your county voter registration office. You should return the application as soon as possible but no later than 5:00 p.m. on the 4th day prior to the election (the 4th day is Friday for all Tuesday elections). You may return the application by mail, email, fax, or personal delivery.

Then you will receive your absentee ballot in the mail. Make sure to follow the ballot instructions and return it to the county voter registration offices by 7:00 p.m. on the day of the election (personally or by mail)

You may also have another person return the ballot for you, but you must first complete an authorization to return absentee ballot form, available from your county voter registration office.

Vote in-person

If you wait until election day, polls will be open from 7 a.m.- 7 p.m. If you’re in line by 7 p.m., you will be able to vote. Note: Early voting polling places are different from voting day polling places. Additionally, some polling locations will not be open due to COVID-19 concerns. Be sure to check here to find your polling location. 

Election officials are taking steps to protect the health of voters and poll managers. Poll managers will receive special COVID-19 training on applying social distancing + maintaining sanitary conditions in the polling place including PPE for poll managers, sneeze guards for check-in stations, sanitizing wipes for cleaning common surfaces, providing hand sanitizer for voters + poll managers + offering cotton swabs for making selections on the touchscreen. Check-in stations + voting equipment will also be spaced at least six feet apart.

Voters should prepare by:

  • Making sure you are registered to vote + your address is up to date.
  • Bringing your Photo ID (or voter registration card if you don’t have a Photo ID).
  • Double checking your polling place before going to the polls.
  • Wearing a protective mask if you have one.
  • Bringing your own pen for signing the poll list.
  • Practicing social distancing by spacing yourself at least six feet apart from others.
  • Being patient.

So who will you see on your primary ballot?

Find the list of candidates on the ballot here or check out your sample ballot here. If you are registered with a party affiliation, you will choose from candidates from that party as well as nonpartisan candidates. If you are not, you can choose from all candidates. 

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