Mover's Guide: South Carolina

August 10, 2010

State Election Commission: 803-734-9060

I moved from the address at which I am registered.  What should I do?

I moved from another state.

If you moved to South Carolina from another state, you must register to vote in South Carolina to be able to vote.[1]  The last day to register in time to vote in the next election is thirty days before the election.[2]

If you moved from out of state, you may register to vote the same day you become a resident of the State of South Carolina.  And, under federal law, if you move within thirty days of a presidential election, you are allowed to vote for President and Vice President in your former state of residence, either in person or by absentee ballot.[3]

I moved within South Carolina.

If you moved within the same county, you should fill out a form to update your registration records.[4]  You can update your registration records before and on Election Day.[5]  That form is available here: http://www.scvotes.org/2006/10/04/update_your_voter_registration_information.

If you moved to a different county more than thirty days before an election, you should complete a new registration form to update your registration records.[6]  That form is available here:http://www.scvotes.org/south_carolina_voter_registration_information.

The election is right around the corner and I never updated my registration from my previous address.  What should I do?

Many registered South Carolina voters who move are still entitled to cast a ballot that will be counted — even if they did not notify the appropriate election official about the move before Election Day.

Scenario One: New Address, but Same Polling Place

If you moved to a new address that is covered by the same polling place as your old address, you can vote at that polling place after confirming your change of address.  This is true regardless of how close to the election you moved.[7]

Scenario Two: New Address in Same County but New Polling Place

If you moved to a new address within the same county but with a different polling place, you have the option to:

  • Vote at the main office of the county board of registration in your county after affirming your new address in writing;[8] or
  • Vote a provisional ballot for only federal, statewide, countywide and municipal-wide offices at the polling place associated with your old address after affirming your change of address.[9]

Scenario Three: New Address in New County

If you moved to a new address that is in a different county in the state within 30 days of the election, you have the option to:

  • Vote at the main office of the county board of registration in your new county after affirming your new address in writing;[10] or
  • Vote a provisional ballot for only federal, statewide, countywide and municipal-wide offices at the polling place associated with your old address after affirming your change of address.[11]  The provisional ballot will be counted if the board of voter registration determines you are a qualified elector in the precinct in which you voted.[12]

If you have moved to a new address in a different county more than 30 days before an election, you should complete a new registration form to update your record for your new address. 


[1] S.C. Code Ann. § 7-5-110.

[2] S.C. Code Ann. §§ 7-5-150, 7-5-155(a)(1).

[3] 42 U.S.C. § 1973aa-1(e) (2010).

[4] See S.C. Code Ann. § 7-5-330(F).

[5] S.C. Code Ann. § 7-5-440 (2010); see also South Carolina State Election Commission, South Carolina Voter Registration Information: Update Your Registration Information, http://www.scvotes.org/south_carolina_voter_registration_information (last visited on June 4, 2010). 

[6] See S.C. Code Ann. §§ 7-5-120 (must register at the county  where the voter resides); 7-5-440 (Voter not required to reregister before the election if move is within 30 days of the election).

[7] S.C. Code Ann. § 7-5-440(A) (2010); 42 U.S.C. § 1973gg-6(e)(1) (2010).

[8] S.C.Code Ann. § 7-5-440(B)(2).

[9] S.C. Code Ann. § 7-5-440(B)(1).

[10] S.C. Code Ann. § 7-5-440(B)(2).

[11] S.C. Code Ann. § 7-5-440(B)(1).

[12] S.C. Code Ann. § 7-13-830.