It's official! Due to the pandemic, anyone can request an absentee ballot in South Carolina by choosing Reason 18: State of Emergency (General Only) on the absentee application.
Who can vote absentee?
Anyone and everyone who is eligible to vote and has registered to vote!
There are two ways to vote absentee in Richland County:
With valid photo ID at the Richland County Board of Voter Registration & Elections at 2020 Hampton Street starting on September 28 and running through November 2 at 5pm, the day before the general election.
There are also 6 satellite locations for in-person absentee voting available October 7, 2020 - November 2, 2020 from 8:30 - 5 p.m.:
Vote and return the ballotto the county voter registration office by mail at PO Box 5330, Columbia, SC 29250 or by personal delivery at 2020 Hampton Street. Place the ballot in the "ballot here-in" envelope and place the "ballot here-in" envelope in the return envelope.
Ballots must be received by the county voter registration office by 7:00 p.m. on election day.
Ballots returned by mail should be mailed no later than one week prior to election day to help ensure timely delivery.
Be sure to sign the voter's oath and have your signature witnessed. Anyone can witness your signature. A notary is not necessary. A federal judge in South Carolina has struck down a rule requiring mail-in absentee ballots for the November election be signed by witnesses. However, this ruling is being appealed so, for the time being, it is a good idea to go ahead and have your ballot signed by a witness until this ruling is final.
You can have another person return your ballot by completing an Authorization to Return Absentee Ballot Form. Candidates and paid campaign workers may not return absentee ballots unless they are an immediate family member of the voter.
Voters admitted to the hospital as an emergency patient on the day of the election or within four days of the election can have an immediate family member apply and carry a ballot to the voter.
Applications for absentee voting must be received by 5 pm on fourth day before election (Oct 30). Return by mail at PO Box 5330, Columbia, SC 29250 or personal delivery to County Voter Registration Office at 2020 Hampton Street.
Again, ballots by mail must be received by 7pm on Election Day.