(WMBF) – Everything you need to know about voting rules, registration, mail-in voting, changes, and candidates in South Carolina.
Absentee voting: Absentee ballots are available to only some voters, including people 65 and older, those who are sick or physically disabled and those who will be out of town on Election Day. You’ll need a witness’s signature to cast an absentee ballot.
Early, in-person voting: The state doesn’t offer early in-person voting, but if you qualify for an absentee ballot, you can cast it early and in person at your county voter registration or extension office until 5 p.m. the day before the election.
Voting in person on Election Day: The state’s primary election is Tuesday, June 14, and the general election is Tuesday, Nov. 8. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Voter I.D.: Starting in 2013, S.C. voting law requires voters to bring a photo ID, such as a driver’s license, to the polls on Election Day. Previously, voters also could cast ballots if they had their voter registration card, which does not have a picture. The law currently allows voters to get a photo ID at their local election office and to vote on a provisional ballot if they have a reasonable excuse why they could not get such an ID.
The deadline to register to vote is 30 days prior to the election, May 15 this year. Click here to see if you’re registered.
Who Can Register? In order to vote, South Carolina law requires one must first register to vote at least 30 days prior to the election. To be eligible to register in South Carolina you MUST:
- be a United States citizen
- be at least eighteen years old on or before the next election
- be a resident of South Carolina in the county and precinct in which you are registering
- not be under a court order declaring you mentally incompetent
- not be confined in any public prison resulting from a conviction of a crime
- have never been convicted of a felony or offense against the election laws OR if previously convicted, have served the entire sentence, including probation or parole, or have received a pardon for the conviction.
New voters don’t need to choose a party as South Carolina has open primaries. To find out where to vote, click here.
Students: Citizens who are not yet 18-years-old but will turn 18 before the next ensuing General Election, and who otherwise qualify to vote, have the right to register beginning 120 days prior to the closing of the books of a preceding primary (see S.C. Code of Laws 7-5-180).
Students may register to vote where they reside while attending college. This could be at an address in the college community (e.g., a dormitory) or at an address you intend to return to while not in the college community (e.g., family home). For guidance in determining what residence to claim for voter registration purposes, see S.C. Code of Laws Section 7-1-25.
Many college students who live on campus receive their mail at a campus post office box. These students must register at the physical address of their dormitory. The student’s P.O. Box can be provided for mailing and contact purposes.
Convicted Felons: Any person who is convicted of a felony or an offense against the election laws is not qualified to register or to vote unless the disqualification has been removed by service of the sentence, or unless sooner pardoned. Service of the sentence includes completion of any prison/jail time, probation and parole.
Federal and state courts provide the SEC with lists of persons convicted of felonies or crimes against the election laws. Those persons are removed from the state’s list of active, registered voters. The SEC notifies each voter whose name is removed. Voters have 20 days from the date the notice is mailed to appeal. Appeals must be made to the SEC.
Once a person who was convicted of a felony or offense against the election laws serves his sentence, he may register to vote. To register, the applicant must submit a new voter registration application to his county voter registration office. To participate in any particular election, the applicant must submit the application prior to the 30-day voter registration deadline for that election. In applying, the registrant is swearing under penalty of perjury that he is qualified to register, including having completed his entire sentence. County voter registration boards must be satisfied that the applicant has completed his sentence; and in some cases, may request a person who has lost his voting rights due to conviction to provide proof that he has completed his sentence.
For more information on felony disenfranchisement, click here.
SC Governor candidates
Candidates will face off in the primary in June; winners will be on the ballot in November.
Henry McMaster (R-Incumbent) took office on January 24, 2017, upon the resignation of Nikki Haley and was elected to a full term in his own right in 2018.
Harrison Musselwhite, AKA “Trucker Bob” (R) moved to Simpsonville, SC in 1997, founded Mattress World and was a trucker. Musselwhite is part of the Palmetto State’s “MAGA Movement.” Specifically, a legislative committee chairman for the Greenville County GOP, a group taken over by hard-core Trump loyalists. The group’s name references “Republicans in Name Only” – which is a term used by those on the right flank of the GOP to dismiss their more “centrist” rivals. He has referred to McMaster as “the biggest RINO of all.”
Mindy L Steele (R) is a graduate of the Citadel and president of a political consulting firm. She has yet to launch an official campaign.
Jokie Beckett Jr. (I) -No campaign information is currently available.
Michael Copeland (I) is a financial advisor. No campaign information is currently available.
Carlton Boyd (D) – No campaign information is currently available.
Joe Cunningham (D) is a former U.S. Representative. His political agenda includes expanding Medicaid, increasing pay for teachers, police reform, legalizing marijuana and expanding infrastructure, including “widening I-26 from North Charleston all the way to North Carolina,” he said in a campaign statement.
Mia S McLeod (D) is a Senator for District 22. Sen. McLeod’s political platform includes expanding Medicaid, increasing the minimum wage, improving education standards and a women’s right to choose birth control options.
Calvin CJ Mack McMillan, Democratic – No information currently available.
William H “Cowboy” Williams (D) is a veteran and former postmaster. Williams is a proponent of the 2nd Amendment, Medicaid, prison reform and the I-73 corridor.
Bruce Reeves (L) – No campaign information is currently available.
Gary Votour (L) moved to South Carolina nine years ago. His platform includes expanding Medicaid, increasing the minimum wage and
SC Secretary of State
Candidates will face off in the primary in June.
Mark Hammond (R-Incumbent) has served as South Carolina Secretary of State since January 15, 2003. If re-elected, this would be Hammond’s 6th term. He also serves as Co-Chairman of the International Relations Committee on Business Services. Hammond said he is a fiscal conservative who has improved the technology in his office for business filings and cracked down on disreputable charities.
Keith Blandford (R) is a Navy veteran and previously ran for United States House of Representatives, District 1 in 2010, 2012 and 2013. His platform included election reform, eliminating federal public health mandates and terminating the Department of Education for localized control.
Peggy Butler (D) was the 1st African American elected to West Columbia City Council and a 2016 Democratic candidate for District 89 of the South Carolina House of Representatives and is a veteran, serving as an RN in Desert Storm.
Candidates will face off in the primary in June.
Curtis Loftis (R-Incumbent) was elected treasurer in 2010. The State Treasurer manages, invests, and retains custody of about $60 billion in public funds and safeguards more than $750 million in unclaimed property money.
Sarah Work (Alliance Party) is a CPA. She lost to Curtis Loftis in the general election for South Carolina Treasurer on November 6, 2018, and to Harvey Peeler for State Senate District 14 in 2020.
SC Attorney General
Candidates will face off in the primary in June.
It will be a busy election year in 2022 for state Attorneys General (AGs) with races in 31 of the 43 states with elected AGs, including the District of Columbia.
In 2022, elections will be held in 14 states with Republican AGs and 16 states with Democratic AGs. The following states will likely be “in play” (toss-up, lean Democratic, or lean Republican): Arizona, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, Texas, and Wisconsin. In those states, there are presently five Democratic AGs and three Republicans.
Alan Wilson (R-Incumbent) has been the state’s AG since 2011. He has joined lawsuits against federal health mandates, school health mandates and the CDC.
Lauren Martel (R) has brought lawsuits against federal health mandates, in favor of the Heritage Act and has fought to end human trafficking.
SC Comptroller General
Candidates will face off in the primary in June.
Richard Eckstrom (R-Incumbent) has served as South Carolina’s Comptroller General since 2003. As the State’s Chief Accountant, he is responsible for fiscal restraint, accountability and transparency in all government financial transactions.
From 1994 to 1998, Eckstrom served as State Treasurer. He is the first CPA to have held each of the financial positions of State Treasurer and Comptroller General.]
He is running unopposed.
SC Commissioner of Agriculture
Primary races will be held in June; the winner of the Republican Primary will face the other parties be on the ballot in November.
Bob Rozier (R) is a seed industry manager. No campaign information is currently available.
Bill Bledsoe (Constitution, Republican) is a veterinarian, in favor of stronger border defense, pro-life and opposes the Affordable Care Act.
David Edmond (Green) previously ran for Commissioner of Agriculture in 2014 as a member of the United Citizens Party and in 2018 with the Green Party. He is a veteran of the U.S. Army, a former veterinary food inspector and an ordained minister in the C.M.E. church.
Chris Nelums (United Citizens) is a pastor and grant writer. He previously ran for Ag Commissioner in 2018.
SC State Superintendent of Education
Primary races will be held in June; the winner of the Republican Primary and Democratic Primary and Patricia Mickel will be on the ballot in November.
In February 2013, the South Carolina State Legislature began considering a bill that would make the position of state superintendent an appointed post. Currently, the position is one of 14 state superintendents elected by the citizenry. The superintendent of education is elected every four years, for a term of four years. The superintendent of education, like South Carolina’s other executive officials, is elected in mid-term elections: 2022 and 2026.
Title 59 of the South Carolina Code of Laws, passed in 2018, states candidates for Superintendent of Education must have a minimum of a master’s degree.
Three candidates dropped due to the lack of a post-graduate degree.
Molly Spearman (R) is the current superintendent and is not seeking a fourth term. She was first elected in 2014.
Travis Bedson (R) does not currently hold a master’s degree. His campaign states Bedson is currently pursuing a master’s degree and will have that degree prior to the general election. He is the CEO of CNT Foundations. Bedson said, if elected, his plan is to fight for dollars in the classroom and expand workforce development programs.
Ellen Weaver (R) does not currently hold a master’s degree. She stated her intention to earn the degree by the necessary date. Weaver is a proponent of parental choice and opposed to teaching Critical Race Theory and federal health mandates.
Kizzi Gibson (R) is a teacher in Lexington County and holds a doctoral degree in education and is pro-life.
Lynda Leventis-Wells (R) is a member of the Greenville County School District board of trustees in South Carolina, representing Area 22. Leventis-Wells’ current term ends in 2022.
Jerry Govan (D) The second-longest-serving Democrat in the South Carolina House of Representatives announced in May he would not seek re-election for his seat and instead is running for state Superintendent of Education. Rep. Govan is a retired educator who previously ran for state superintendent in 2014.
Gary L Burgess (D) holds a South Carolina professional teaching license in the areas of teacher, principal, and superintendent as well as a doctoral degree. He served on the Anderson County School Board since 2010. Burgess is a published author and presenter with a number of articles that focus on teaching, learning, and curriculum.
Lisa Ellis’ (D) previous experience includes serving as an instructional coach, student activities director and creating the SC for Ed nonprofit. Her campaign said her platform is based on bringing experience to current issues in the system such as teacher vacancies.
Patricia M Mickel (G) – No campaign information is currently available.
U.S. HOUSE — SOUTH CAROLINA DISTRICT 7
Multiple candidates are running in Horry County’s most contentious and high-profile race. South Carolina’s 7th Congressional District stretches from Georgetown County to the state line, and then west to include Chesterfield County. Horry County is the most populous county in the district, and where the majority of Republican voters will come from.
Rep. Tom Rice (R-Incumbent,)is defending his seat and running for a sixth term in office. Last month, Trump entered the fray and endorsed state Rep. Russell Fry against Rice, and then shared a stage with Fry at a rally in Florence earlier in March. Rice frames himself as a reliable conservative vote, noting that he voted for Trump’s priorities 94% of the time. He also sees himself as someone who will help residents around the region rather than pledge “allegiance to one very conflict-oriented divisive man.”
SC Rep. Russell Fry (R-Surfside Beach) emerged as one of Rice’s top challengers, in part because he won Trump’s backing. Fry rose rapidly through the ranks of South Carolina GOP politics and has served in the state House since late 2015 when he won a special election. He’s helped the legislature’s Republican majority whip support on key bills, including some in response to the opioid epidemic, a “heartbeat” law that restricts abortion access and open-carry firearm law.
Fry won Trump’s endorsement last month shortly after calling the 2020 election “rigged” and saying Joe Biden is “not my president.” Fry then shared a stage with Trump in March in Florence and has pitched himself as a conservative fighter in Trump’s mold.
Conservatives in Horry County are split on his candidacy, though, with some believing Fry is too politically similar to Rice.
School Board Chairman Ken Richardson (R) a former car salesman and longtime chairman of the Horry-Georgetown Technical College board, is currently serving a term as the head of Horry County Schools. He’s fashioned himself in Trump’s mold, an independent businessman who fights aggressively for conservative values. Richardson made allegiance to Trump and is against the teaching of Critical Race Theory and abolishing the federal Department of Education key planks of his campaign.
Dr. Garrett Barton (R), has also thrown his hat into the crowded congressional race. Barton, a family doctor based in Cheraw, has styled him as a commonsense conservative who wants to expand access to healthcare and revitalize small downtowns across the Pee Dee. His campaign platform focuses on healthcare and big tech issues and pitches himself as pro-Trump.
Former Myrtle Beach Mayor Mark McBride (R) is also running for Congress. McBride, since losing a 2005 re-election, has run for a number of public offices including the U.S. Senate and a seat in the state legislature.
McBride has styled himself as Trump-before-Trump, saying that he called for Trump’s immigration policies, English as America’s official language and other directives when he was mayor. He’s said at forums that Trump “ran on my platform.” McBride, though, hasn’t yet raised significant funds as Rice and other challengers have. Earlier this month, he accused a local blogger of working on behalf of Richardson’s campaign and offering a bribe to him to drop out. The blogger, David Hucks, and Richardson’s campaign have denied the allegations.
Barbara Arthur (R) an insurance agent and Christian speaker is also running for Congress. From Hartsville, Arthur has made fighting socialism and communism the highlights of her campaign. She said she views Democrats as bringing communism to the United States, despite decades of federal, bipartisan opposition to communism and nations with communist leaders, and has pledged to fight them.
Spencer Morris (R) a pharmacist, has also filed to run for Congress. No campaign information is currently available.
Hammond’s campaign focuses on bringing tech and other high-paying jobs to District 7, as well as increasing the average income, health care coverage, No child left behind (NCLB), and harsher penalties for low-collar crime.
Dunham’s Twitter page also says he is a 2024 candidate for President and is fighting to end the White Slave Trade Act of 1910, as it concerns modern-day “strippers.”
Daryl Scott (D) also filed to challenge the Republicans in November. No other Democrats have filed to run. No campaign information is currently available.
State House of Representatives, District 53
Richie Yow (R-Incumbent) is running unopposed. No campaign information is currently available.
State House of Representatives, District 54 (candidates will face off in the general election in November)
Patricia “Pat” Moore Henegan (D-Incumbent) has served as the district’s representative since 2016. Over the past six years, Henegan has served on several committees, including the Judiciary and Legislative Oversight committees and the Administration and Regulations, Banking and Consumer Affairs, and Business and Commerce subcommittees. She is vice-chair and incoming chair of the Black Caucus. She is pro-gun control and voter access.
Sterling McDiarmid (R) ran unsuccessfully for the District 54 seat in 2020. His campaign platform includes a push for more business and industry in the district.
State House of Representatives, District 55 (Primary races will be held in June; the winner of the Republican Primary, Democratic Primary will be on the ballot in November)
Jackie E Hayes (D-Incumbent) has represented the district since 1999. Hayes is a proponent of gun control, serves on the Ways and Means Committee and is a high school football coach.
Jamal Campbell (D) serves on the Dillon County Council and previously partnered with the South Carolina Youth Challenge Academy to help keep teens out of trouble.
Robert Norton (R) -No campaign information is currently available.
Tracy Pelt (R) ran for Dillon Count Sheriff in 2020. No campaign information is currently available.
State House of Representatives, District 56
Tim McGinnis (R-Incumbent) has represented the district since 2018 and serves on the Education and Public Works and Legislative Oversight committees. McGinnis is a proponent of redistricting, cutting taxes and election reform. He is running unopposed.
State House of Representatives, District 57
Lucas Atkinson (D-Incumbent) has represented the district since 2017 and serves on the Agriculture, Natural Resources & Environmental Affairs and the Rules committees. He recently co-sponsored the Save Women’s Sports Act. He is running unopposed.
State House of Representatives, District 58
Candidates will face off in the general election in November
Jeff Johnson (R-Incumbent) has represented the district since 2015 and serves on the Judiciary and Legislative Oversight committees. He is pro-life and sponsored the “south Carolina Stands For Life Act” and the “open Carry With Training Act,” among others.
John Ward (D) ran unsuccessfully in 2016 for District 58 and in 2108 for District 7. Ward’s professional experience includes working as a correctional officer at the Horry County Sheriff’s Office and as an erosion control specialist at Seed Slingers.
State House of Representatives, District 59
Terry Alexander (D-Incumbent) has represented the district since 2007 and serves on the Education and Public Works, 2nd V.C. and the Regulations and Admin. Procedures committees. He previously served on the Florence County Council from 1999 to 2006. Alexander is an educational consultant and pastor and is a proponent of criminal justice reform. He is running unopposed.
State House of Representatives, District 60
Phillip Lowe (R-Incumbent) has represented the district since 2007 and serves on the Ways and Means Committee. he is a proponent of gun rights and the 2nd Amendment. He is running unopposed.
State House of Representatives, District 61
Republican candidates will face off in June, nomination winner will face Ashlyn Preaux (D) in November.
District 61 is a newly formed district that represents tracts of Myrtle Beach and Conway along U.S. 501. and 2022 will be the first election for the seat. To view a map of the new district, click here.
The previous district-holder, Roger Kirby, now represents State House District 101, which includes parts of Williamsburg County and Florence County.
South Carolina enacted new state legislative district maps on December 10, 2021, when Gov. Henry McMaster (R ) signed a proposal approved by the South Carolina House and Senate into law. The South Carolina Senate approved House and Senate map proposals in a 43-1 vote on December 7, 2021, and the House approved the new districts in a 75-27 vote on December 9, 2021. Gov. McMaster signed the bill into law the next day.
John Cassidy’s (R) campaign platform includes improving infrastructure for the growing district. He has been a member of the Waccamaw Sertoma Club, a subcommittee member for the Greater Grand Strand Committee and a member of the Board of Appeals and Variances with Horry County and also a Conway Chamber of Commerce board member.
Carla Schuessler’s (R) campaign platform includes improving infrastructure for the growing district, is a proponent of the I-73 plan and School Choice. She was executive director for the Horry County Habitat for Humanity from 2014 to 2020 and chaired the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce from 2018 to 2019 and is currently on its board of directors.
Ashlyn Preaux (D) She is the co-founder of the advocacy group Grand Strand Action Together and was the regional field director for “Bernie Sanders for President” campaign in South Carolina and Ohio.
State House of Representatives, District 62
Candidates will face off in the primary in June.
Robert Williams (D-(Incumbent) is a military combat veteran and concealed weapon carrier. He has served the district since 2007. He serves on the Invitations and Memorial Resolutions, 1st V.C. and Labor, Commerce and Industry committees. Williams’ campaign platform includes expanding the Affordable Care Act, gun safety and renewable energy.
Bryson Sparks Caldwell (D) – No campaign information is currently available.
State House of Representatives, District 63
Candidates will face off in the general election in November.
Jay Jordan (R-Incumbent) has served the district since 2015. He is the chairman of the Ethics Committee and serves on the Judiciary Committee. He has a reputation for supporting law enforcement, is pro-life and opposes federal mandates.
Vincent Coe (D) -No campaign information is currently available.
State House of Representatives, District 65
District 65 has been represented by House Speaker Jay Lucas for 24 years. he announced in March he would not seek re-election.
Cody T Mitchell (R) is Lucas’ law partner. He is running unopposed. No campaign information is currently available.
State House of Representatives, District 68 (candidates will face off in the general election in November)
Heather Ammons Crawford (R-Incumbent) has represented the district since 2012. She is pro-life and a proponent of the 2nd Amendment.
Ernest Carson (D) is a real estate agent. No campaign information is currently available.
State House of Representatives, District 101
Candidates will face off in the primary in June.
Cezar McKnight (D-Incumbent) has served the district since 2015. He serves on the Judiciary and Operations and Management committees. He is a proponent of gun control laws and argues that voter ID laws and absentee ballot limits act as targeted disenfranchisement. In 2021, he introduced a bill that would criminalize hormonal treatment and transitional surgery for minors. McKnight has also pushed for expanded orders of protection for domestic violence victims.
William Terry Wallace (D) -No campaign information is currently available.
State House of Representatives, District 103
Carl Anderson (D-Incumbent) has represented the district since 2005. His campaign platform includes opposing voter restrictions and believes that gun control laws would reduce societal costs, crime, homicide, suicides, and accidental deaths. He serves on the Labor, Commerce and Industry Committee and Regulations and Admin. Procedures Committee. He is running unopposed.
State House of Representatives, District 104
William Bailey (R-Incumbent) has served the district since 2018. He serves on the Interstate Cooperation, 2nd V.C. and Judiciary committees. His campaign platform includes reducing taxes, term limits for lawmakers and infrastructure. He is running unopposed.
State House of Representatives, District 105
Kevin Hardee (R-Incumbent) has served the district since 2013 and prior to that, he sat on the Horry County Council from 2001 to 2008. He serves on the Labor, Commerce and Industry and Rules committees. He is running unopposed.
State House of Representatives, District 106
Republican candidates will face off in the primary in June; the nomination winner will face Ryan Thompson (D) in November.
South Carolina House of Representatives District 106 is represented by Russell Fry (R), who is not seeking re-election, instead running for U.S. House District 7.
Bruce Bailey (R) This is not the same Bruce Bailey that is the CEO of Tidelands Health. No campaign information is currently available.
Howard Barnard (R) is a member of the Horry County Schools Board of Education. He is an Air Force veteran and served as a board member and president of the Horry County Habitat for Humanity. Barnard is a proponent of improving local infrastructure. Last fall, the council declined to contribute $126 million to a new interstate that would connect the region to I-95, with several members arguing they needed to invest in crumbling local roads before allocating tax dollars to an intergovernmental project.
Thomas Duval “Val” Guest, Jr (R) -No campaign information is currently available.
Brian Sweeney (R) is an insurance agent and 16-year resident of Murrells Inlet. His campaign platform includes opposition to federal mandates.
Ryan Thompson’s (D) campaign platform includes education, specifically teacher retention and increased resources for schools, a focus on local infrastructure and protecting the environment.
State House of Representatives, District 107
Case Brittain (R-Incumbent) was elected to the seat in 2020. He is running unopposed.
State House of Representatives, District 108
Lee Hewitt (R-Incumbent) has represented the district since 2017 and serves on the Ways and Means Committee. His campaign platform includes protecting the state’s natural resources and environment, the extension of Highway 31 and widening Highway 707 and lowering taxes. He is running unopposed.
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