Tuesday is primary day, and there are several high-profile races on ballot in Richland and Lexington counties.
So what do you need to know before you vote? Here, some tips from the S.C. Election Commission.
What candidates and/or offices are on the ballot?
The candidates and offices on a particular ballot will differ depending on the county and districts in which you reside and the primary in which you’re voting (Republican or Democratic). To see the candidates that will appear on your ballot, visit scvotes.org and click“ Get My Sample Ballot.”
Where do I vote?
Your precinct and polling place are listed on your voter registration card. However, it’s possible your polling place may have changed since the card was issued. To be sure of the location of your polling place, visit scvotes.org and click “Find My Polling Place,” or call your county voter registration office.
What hours will the polls be open?
7 a.m.-7 p.m. for the June 14 primary and the June 28 runoff. As long as you are in line by 7 p.m., you will be allowed to vote.
Do I have to be a registered member of a party to participate in the statewide primaries?
No. South Carolina does not have registration by party.
Why can’t I vote in both primaries?
State law prohibits voters from voting in more than one party’s primary on the same day.
If I voted in one party’s primary, can I vote in the other party’s runoff?
If I didn’t vote in either primary, can I vote in a runoff?
What do I take with me to the polls to vote?
When voting in person, you will be asked to show one of the following photo IDs:
▪ S.C. driver’s license
▪ S.C. Department of Motor Vehicles ID card (includes SC Concealed Weapons Permit)
▪ S.C. voter registration card with photo
▪ U.S. passport
▪ Federal military ID (includes all Department of Defense photo IDs and the Department of Veterans Affairs)
What if I don’t have one of these photo IDs?
You may vote a provisional ballot after signing an affidavit stating you have a reasonable impediment to obtaining a photo ID. A reasonable impediment is any valid reason, beyond your control, which created an obstacle to getting a photo ID. Some examples include a disability or illness, conflict with your work schedule, lack of transportation, lack of a birth certificate, family responsibilities, religious objection to being photographed, and any other obstacle you find reasonable. This ballot will count unless someone proves to the county board of voter registration and elections that you are lying about your identity or having the listed impediment.
What happens if I forget to bring my Photo ID to my polling place?
If you forget to bring your photo ID to your polling place, you may vote a provisional ballot that will count only if you show your photo ID to your county board of voter registration and elections office prior to certification of the primary (Thursday after the primary).
I saw a candidate/member of candidate’s campaign at my polling place talking to voters. Can he/she do that?
Yes, but there are restrictions.
▪ Inside the polling place: No campaigning is allowed. Candidates may be inside the polling place and talk to voters as long as they are not campaigning, intimidating voters or interfering with the election process.
▪ Within 200 feet of an entrance to a polling place: Candidates and campaign staff may campaign as long as they are not intimidating voters or interfering with the election process.
A candidate is definitely campaigning while in the polling place, or there is campaign literature within 200 feet of the entrance. What can I do?
Inform the poll clerk immediately. If the issue is not resolved, contact the county board of voter registration and elections. The board will address the complaint.
Can candidates or their representatives take people to the polls to vote?
Yes. It’s OK for any person, even a candidate, to give a voter a ride as long as it’s solely to help facilitate voting. However, no one can give a voter anything of value in exchange for voting.
How is the winner determined in a primary?
A candidate must receive a majority of votes cast for that office to win the primary. In offices with one seat to fill (most offices), majority is determined by dividing the total votes cast for the office by two. Any number of votes in excess of the quotient is a majority. If no candidate has a majority, then the two candidates remaining with the highest number of votes will appear in a runoff two weeks after the date of the primary on June 28.
How is the winner determined in a runoff?
The candidate with the highest number of votes wins.
Do employers have to give you time off to vote?
When I left the polls, I was asked to participate in an “exit poll.” Is this legal?
Exit polls are legal and participation is voluntary.