Time is running out for anyone wanting to register to vote in South Carolina's Feb. 29 Democratic presidential primary.
Thursday is the final day to sign up.
State Election Commission spokesman Chris Whitmire urged potential voters and existing voters to double-check their voter registration information to help reduce Election Day confusion.
"If you move, or have moved, be sure to update your voter registration," he said. "If everybody did that, it would solve a world of problems in elections."
The Democratic presidential preference primary falls on a Saturday, with polls open statewide from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m.
Here's what you need to know ahead of the upcoming registration deadline, including how to update your voter registration information and how to get registered.
Can I vote in the primary?
Any South Carolina resident who is at least 18 or who will turn 18 on or before the Nov. 3 general election, can vote. Convicted felons cannot. However, they can vote if they have completed their sentence.
According to data from the election commission, 3.3 million people are registered to vote in South Carolina. An estimated 4 million voting-age adults live in the state, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates.
There is no length of residency requirement in South Carolina to register.
How do I register to vote?
Voters may register by mail, fax, or email. To do that, voters must download a voter registration form, complete it, and return it to their county board of voter registration using one of the three options listed above.
However, voters must be registered at least 30 days before any election to vote in that election.
Can I vote if I'm not a Democrat?
Yes. South Carolina has an open primary system. This means any registered voter may cast a ballot in either party's primary — but not both. Last year, the state Republican Party's executive committee opted to forgo holding a GOP 2020 presidential primary.
South Carolina voters don't have to register by political party.
Can I vote early?
While South Carolina does not have early voting or same-day voter registration, voters in the Palmetto State can still cast a ballot ahead of time by voting absentee in person or by mail.
To cast a ballot early in person, visit the county voter registration office in your county of residence, complete an application and cast your ballot. Voters will be able to vote absentee in person until 5 p.m. Feb. 28.
Rules for photo ID required to vote at the polling place apply.
Do I need a REAL ID to vote?
No. A REAL ID is not required to vote in the Democratic presidential preference primary. However, to vote in the election, you will need one of the following forms of photo ID:
- S.C. driver's license
- U.S. passport
- Federal military ID
- S.C. Department of Motor Vehicles ID card
- S.C. voter registration card with photo
If you do not have proper photo ID but are registered to vote, you can cast a provisional ballot.
Where do I vote?
It depends on where you live. Your voting precinct and polling place are determined by your address. However, don't assume that where you voted in the past is where you will vote in the primary.
During presidential preference primaries, Whitmire said polling sites are often consolidated to save money and resources. That means multiple precincts could be voting at one polling place.
To check your voting location, go to the State Election Commission website at scvotes.org. On the homepage, click on the link that says "Check My Voter Registration."
You can also contact your county voter registration office.
Who is on the ballot?
Twelve Democratic presidential candidates will appear on the Feb. 29 ballot. They are:
- Michael Bennet
- Joe Biden
- Cory Booker
- Pete Buttigieg
- John Delaney
- Tulsi Gabbard
- Amy Klobuchar
- Deval Patrick
- Bernie Sanders
- Tom Steyer
- Elizabeth Warren
- Andrew Yang
Booker suspended his campaign earlier this month, too late to remove him from the lineup.
Whitmire said information will be posted at polling sites to tell voters which candidates are no longer running; additional candidates may end their bids based on performances in Iowa or New Hampshire.