Voting: What You Need To Know

by Chloe Holowczenko, WREN Policy and Programs Assistant on Sep 30, 2020

Voting: The one thing on everyone’s minds and coming up awfully quick.

In 33 days, on November 3rd, Americans will cast their vote under unprecedented conditions. In the midst of a deadly pandemic, with unpredictable or non-existent childcare, and while juggling work, school, and personal responsibilities, we must take action to maintain our democracy and human rights. 

In-person absentee voting begins statewide on October 5, 2020. Voting will occur at all county election offices and at extension locations established by those county offices. A complete list of those locations is available at www.SCVotes.gov.  

The League of Women Voters (LWV)  has written a quick summary of the changes made by the South Carolina General Assembly which can be found below.

We are now assured that all-qualified voters in South Carolina can choose how to vote in 2020; whether that’s absentee by mail, absentee in-person or in-person on Election Day.

Voting in Person 

When: Polling places are open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Election Day. Anyone in line at 7:00 p.m. will be allowed to vote.

Where: You can find your precinct location here

Voting Absentee

Who can vote absentee? All SC voters in 2020.

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.

How to Vote Absentee in the 2020 General Election 

Qualified voters can vote absentee in person or by mail. Photo ID is required to vote absentee in person. Photo ID is not required to vote absentee by mail. More information about the photo ID requirements can be found here


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

 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.


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

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

 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.



South Carolina has a good system for answering questions and managing absentee-by-mail voting at www.SCVotes.gov, but the internet isn’t helpful for those who don’t have access. The Richland County Library has WiFi available and accessible from the parking lots at all of the locations, except Sandhills, provides stamped voter registration forms at locations with pick-up windows (Ballenine, Northeast, Sandhills, St. Andrews), and will print absentee ballots upon request. 

You can visit this voter-help page to check your registration or to register to vote, today. Our political systems only work if we all participate. 


Other Resources

If you are registered to vote and prepared to cast your ballot, please remind friends, family, coworkers, peers, etc., to register to vote in-person by October 2, 2020, online at www.SCvotes.gov by October 4, 2020 or by mail – postmarked by October 5, 2020. 

Thank you to the League of Women Voters for contributing the content to this blog and their work toward voter education. 

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