Frequently Asked Questions
This document is intended to answer students' questions about the primary election and the process of registering to vote.
When is the next opportunity to vote in South Carolina?
The general election on November 6, 2012. Elections on the ballot include the President, the US House of Representatives, the South Carolina State House of Representatives and several local races.
What is the deadline to register to vote in the November 6, 2012 election?
Deadlines vary by state. In South Carolina, the deadline is October 6, 2012.
Who is eligible to register to vote in the November 6, 2012 election?
Any United States citizen who will be 18 by November 6, 2012 may register to vote in the November election. All eligible voters must be residents of the South Carolina county and precinct in which they are registered. Other exemptions are explained on the South Carolina State Election Commission website.
I'm a Winthrop student. How and where can I register to vote?
Students who are eligible to vote may register in York County, if they consider York County their permanent residence, or may choose to register at another location, such as their parents' home.
South Carolina Voter Registration: Students who wish to register to vote in South Carolina may register to vote on-line. This form may be used in any county. Applicants must have a South Carolina Driver's License or state-issued ID and enter this number into the on-line form.
Alternatively, on may complete a voter registration paper form and mail it to the relevant county board of elections. Visit the South Carolina State Election Commission website for contact information for each county in South Carolina.
The address of the York County Board of Elections is:
York County Board of Voter Registration:
E. C. Black Building
13 South Congress Street
York SC 29745
I don't live in South Carolina. How can I register to vote in my home state?
You need to consult your state election agency for specific details. To find your state election agency, please consult the Election Assistance Commission website.
The United States Election Assistance Commission, a federal government agency, has developed a national voter registration form. This form may be used in every state except North Dakota and Wyoming; this form may be used under limited circumstances in New Hampshire. The form and detailed instructions are available online.
Please note that registration forms and deadlines vary by state. Information listed here is only relevant to South Carolina and/or York County.
I think I registered to vote, but my voter registration card hasn't arrived. What can I do?
If you registered to vote in South Carolina, you may check your voter registration online. Students who are registered to vote in another state should check with their state's election agency.
Where should I register to vote?
Winthrop students are eligible to register to vote at any address that they consider their permanent residence. That may be your parent's house, your dorm room on campus, or elsewhere.
I moved since the last election. Do I need to re-register?
Yes. Please complete a new voter registration form and return it to the appropriate county board of elections, before the October 6, 2012 deadline. If you miss this deadline, you may still cast a provisional ballot at your old precinct; however, you vote may not be counted. For out of state students: deadlines vary by state. Please consult with your state's election agency for details.
What is the South Carolina Voter ID Law?
In 2011, the South Carolina legislature passed a law requiring all voters to produce a state-issued picture identification (ID) at the polls when coming to vote. However, the United States Department of Justice blocked implementation of this law on December 23, 2011. Its provisions will not go into effect until federal courts have considered the case and ruled on it.
Does South Carolina allow early voting?
Some states, including North Carolina, allow early voting, whereby voters may cast their ballots at designated locations for days or weeks before Election Day. South Carolina does NOT allow early voting. If a voter cannot get to the polls on Election Day, s/he must request an absentee ballot.
How can I get an absentee ballot?
In South Carolina, you need to contact your local county election commission and request the ballot. The ballot will be mailed to you, and you will complete it and return it, also by mail. Your ballot must arrive at the county election commission before closing on election day, so plan accordingly. Faxed or emailed ballots are not be accepted. For more information, contact the South Carolina Election Commission.
Where do I go to vote on Election Day?
Your voting location is based upon the precinct in which you are registered. Unless you vote absentee, you must travel to the polling place designated for your precinct. In South Carolina, the name of your precinct is listed on your voter registration card. Polling locations are available from your county's election commission and are published widely in local media.
What do I need to take to the polls on Election Day?
Under current South Carolina law, a voter needs to present a voter registration card, a valid South Carolina Driver's License, or a valid South Carolina ID issues by the Department of Motor Vehicles. These requirements may change if the South Carolina voter ID law goes into effect. Please visit this website for election day details. Requirements in other states may vary. Please consult your state's election agency for details.
Disclaimer: The Winthrop University John C. West Forum on Politics and Policy believes this information is current and factually correct. However, it does not constitute legal advice, nor does it supersede any information provided by state or local election officials.