Absentee voting for November election

The Senate returned to Columbia earlier today and made changes that I feel confident the House will support when we return to Columbia later this month.

Bottom line: like we did for the June primaries, voters may use an 18th reason to vote absentee for the November elections. That reason will be “Covid-19”.

I have heard that 43% of voters plan to vote absentee this fall.

Who Can Vote Absentee in SC
*Members of the Armed Forces
*Members of the Merchant Marine
*Spouses and dependents residing with members of the Armed Forces or Merchant Marine
*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
*Citizens residing overseas
*Persons who are physically disabled (includes illnesses and injuries)
*Students attending school outside their county of residence and their spouses and dependents residing with them
*Persons who for reasons of employment will not be able to vote on election day
*Government employees serving outside their county of residence on Election Day and their spouses and dependents residing with them
*Persons who plan to be on vacation outside their county of residence on Election Day
*Persons serving as a juror in state or federal court on Election Day
*Persons admitted to the hospital as emergency patients on Election Day or within a four-day period before the election
*Persons with a death or funeral in the family within three days before the election
*Persons confined to a jail or pre-trial facility pending disposition of arrest or trial
*Persons attending sick or physically disabled persons
*Certified poll watchers, poll managers, and county election officials working on Election Day
*Persons sixty-five years of age or older
*Persons who for religious reasons do not want to vote on a Saturday (Presidential Primaries Only)

From The Post and Courier

COLUMBIA — All South Carolina voters will likely be able to cast absentee ballots in the November general election after the state Senate approved the change Wednesday due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, sending the measure over to the House, which will take it up later this month.

But the Senate’s Republican majority declined to make several other changes recommended by state and county election officials, including eliminating a requirement that absentee ballots be signed by a witness in addition to the voter, allowing voters to apply for absentee ballots online and letting voters submit their ballots through drop boxes.

Republicans cited concerns about potential voter fraud in declining to make those changes, but Democrats alleged that was a manufactured excuse to make it more difficult for South Carolinians to vote during a public health crisis.


  1. Elizabeth P. Bray says

    RE: From The Post and Courier

    Does this mean I will have to hand carry my Absentee Ballot to the Richland County Voter Office in downtown Columbia (Harden St.)?

    Will I not be able to mail in my completed Absentee Ballot?

    Thank you for your time.
    Elizabeth P. Bray

    • Elizabeth, you should be able to mail your absentee. Please call the county election office at 576-2240 for exact details though.


  2. Hilda Flamholtz says

    Thank you for making it easier to vote absentee in this election.

  3. Would it be possible for the National Guard to be poll managers for the November election? What better way could they serve our nation?

    Would it be possible for the Election Commission to begin counting ballots as they are received?

    Is there any way to reduce the cost of mailing absentee ballots back? It took 3 stamps for the primary ballot. I’m sure this is a hardship for shut-ins, nursing home residents and many others.

  4. My plan was to call on the Guard if the elections office didn’t have enough volunteers. I received update today (posted on website) that says they have more than the 1800 they feel they need. So, I won’t be calling on the guard if that information is correct.

    The House returns tomorrow and we will take up measures to help with counting ballots.

    Never thought about that before. I’m guessing the postage is determined by size of card, number of cards, etc, etc.