With all the craziness with this year’s election, some questions might have slipped through the cracks. Those questions are the ones that hit you as you walk into your SC polling site that, if you don’t know the answer, could land you into some hot water with the authorities. Others might be of the “wait…can they do that?” variety. Thanks to the South Carolina Election Commission you can take a look at the more interesting 2016 General Election FAQs for South Carolina. And, yes, ballot selfies Q&A are on the list.
If I don’t want to vote on a voting machine,
can I vote a paper ballot?
South Carolina’s voting system features both voting machines and paper ballots. Voters must vote on voting machines except under limited circumstances as defined by state law. Paper ballots may be used only for voting absentee by mail, for emergency situations at the polls (voting machines not available), and for provisional voting (when there’s some question about a voter’s qualifications).
I saw a candidate/member of candidate’s campaign at my polling place talking to voters. Can he 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. However, no campaign literature, signs, or posters are allowed. Candidates are allowed to wear a badge no larger than 4.25” x 4.25” featuring only the candidate’s name and office sought. Candidates must remove their badge upon entering a polling place.
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.
Can alcoholic beverages be sold on Election Day?
Yes, the ban on the sale of alcoholic liquors on statewide election days was lifted as of July 1, 2014. For more information contact the S.C. Department of Revenue, (803) 898‐5864.
Can alcoholic beverages be consumed at the polling place?
Editors at The Rock Hill Reader is still waiting on a response for that one.
Can lottery tickets be sold on Election Day?
Yes, lottery tickets can be sold on Election Day.
Are “ballot selfies” legal? Can I take a picture of my ballot and share it with others?
No. State law prohibits anyone from showing their ballot to another person (S.C. Code of Laws Section 7‐25‐100). The use of cameras is not allowed inside the voting booth.
Do employers have to give you time off to vote?
No. There is no state or federal law mandating that employers give time off to employees to vote. Voters who know they will not be able to visit the polls on Election Day should vote absentee before the election.
Can I take my gun to the polling station?
You may not carry a firearm at polling places on election days (unless express consent has been given by an appropriate church official or governing body) (S.C. Code Ann.§ 23-31-215.) Expect a fine of at least $1,000, up to one year in jail, or both if you do.
While those are legit questions we ask ourselves on our way to vote, here are some of the more basic (boring) ones:
Where do I vote?
At the polling place in your precinct. 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” in the mySCVOTES section of the homepage. Call your county voter registration office.
What hours will the polls be open?
Polling places will be open 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. As long as you are in line by 7:00 p.m., you will be allowed to vote.
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:
SC Driver’s License
SC Department of Motor Vehicles ID Card – includes SC Concealed Weapons Permit
SC Voter Registration Card with Photo
Federal Military ID – includes all Department of Defense Photo IDs and the Department of Veterans Affairs Benefits Card