Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Ready or not, Election Day is November 8th in South Carolina and across the U.S., as voters will pick a new president and make decisions about a host of other contests.
Everyone who can should get out and exercise their Constitutional right to vote, but we know many of you may have questions about just how to do that, so News19 is on our side with information you'll need before you vote.
When will the polls be open?
Polls statewide will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on November 8th.
Can I go ahead and vote absentee?
Absentee voting has now ended.
What information do I need to bring to the polls?
People need to bring one (1) of the following forms of photo ID:
- SC Driver's License
- SCDMV ID Card
- SC Voter Registration Card with photo
- Federal Military ID
- United States Passport
If you don't have any of these forms of identification, you may vote with what's known as a provisional ballot. However, if you do that, you must then go back to your county election office and show your photo ID before the vote is certified, which usually happens the Thursday or Friday after the election.
You also have to sign an affidavit saying there was a reasonable impediment to getting a photo ID. To see a list of those reasons, click here:
I forgot where to vote/Not sure where to vote/Want to know who I can vote for
Luckily, if one or all of those questions apply to you, there are resources that are available for you now.
Check My Voter Registration - This will let you know what precinct you should be voting at, and what U.S. House, county council, city council, and other local races you're allowed to vote in. It'll ask you your county, your name, and your date of birth, and then hit submit to finish the process.
Get My Sample Ballot - You'll know exactly what races you'll see when you walk into the booth, so you can go ahead and make your choice now to reduce your time in the booth.
Find My Polling Place - You can even get directions using this tool
Wait! Who are all these people running for president?
Unless you've been on another planet, you've aware that Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are running for the White House, respectively, as the Democratic and Republican nominees. If you're been alert, you probably remember hearing that Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate, and Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate, are also in contention.
But did you know you can also cast a ballot for Evan McMullin (Independence), or Darrell Castle (Constitution), or Peter Skewes (American)? That's a total of 7 candidates who made the ballot in South Carolina!
Want to know more about all of seven? We've made all of their respective names above links to each of their campaign websites.
1 U.S. Senate Seat/All U.S. House Seats on the Ballot
Incumbent Republican Tim Scott is running to keep the seat he was firs appointed to in 2013, then won a special election to keep in 2014. He's challenged by Democrat Thomas Dixon (who's also the nominee of the Working Families and Green Parties), Constitution candidate Bill Bledsoe, and Rebel Scarborough of the American Party.
The winner gets sent to the Senate for a six year term.
As they are every two years, all seven of South Carolina's U.S. House seats are up for grabs, meaning that every citizen of South Carolina, no matter where they live, will make a choice for their Congressperson.
SC Senate/House Seats Up for Grabs Too
The following Midlands Senate/House seats are contested:
Senate: SC Senate 10, SC Senate 17, SC Senate 20, SC Senate 22, SC Senate 26, SC Senate 36
House: SC House 39, SC House 40, SC House 75, SC House 79, SC House 89, SC House 96
If you're not sure if you fall in one of those above districts, check your sample ballot
Alcohol Sales Questions
If you live in the following jurisdictions in the Midlands, you will help decide whether to extend alcohol sales times.
That list includes Clarendon County, Fairfield County, Lee County, and Orangeburg County.
Tax & Bond Questions:
If you live in these jurisdictions, you'll be asked questions about tax revenue:
Kershaw County - School bond and school sales tax
Lexington County (School District 4 only) - School bond
Newberry County - Penny Sales Tax
Orangeburg County - Penny Sales Tax