Voting Early (copy) (copy)

Voters enter Seacoast Church West Ashley to vote early.  Brad Nettles/Staff file

South Carolinians from the coast to the mountains go to the polls Tuesday to cast ballots in the 2018 midterm election where control of Congress is at stake.

The governor's mansion, all the constitutional offices and the state House of Representatives are up, as well.

There's also a referendum on whether the state superintendent of education should continue to be elected by voters or be appointed by the governor starting in 2023.

Polls are open statewide from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

If you are in line by 7 p.m., you will be allowed to vote.

Officials have worked to keep lines shorter this time by encouraging people to vote early or absentee, which the public has been receptive to.

When absentee voting ends Monday, more than 243,000 votes will have been cast early this year. 

All seven of the state's congressional seats are up, but the closest duel is the coastal 1st Congressional District race between Republican Katie Arrington and Democrat Joe Cunningham.

Residents from parts of Charleston, Berkeley, Dorchester, Colleton and Beaufort counties will decide that one.

Neither of the state's two U.S. Senate seats are up this year, which means Republicans Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott are not on the ballot.

Here’s what else you need to know about voting:

Where can I learn more about the candidates on my ballot?

A quick and easy online source is the website assembled by the non-partisan League of Women Voters: Vote411.org.

On the site you can plug in your address to find which candidates are running to represent your area, such as for school board or Congress.

The site includes biographical information on the candidates as well as position statements.

Where do I vote?

It depends on where you live. Your voting precinct and polling place are determined by your address, and should be listed on your voter registration card.

To check your voting location, go to the State Election Commission website at scvotes.org. On the homepage, click the tab that says “Voters.” Then click “Check your voter registration.”

You can also contact your county voter registration office.

What should I bring to the polls?

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.

Is it too late to register?

Yes. South Carolina does not offer Election Day registration. 

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What is the constitutional amendment on my ballot?

In addition to voting for candidates, voters will get to weigh in on whether a change should be made to South Carolina’s constitution so that the education superintendent is appointed by the governor.

If the vote fails, the method by general election will stay in place. Otherwise, the governor would make the Cabinet pick beginning in 2023.

What can I expect at the polling place?

Most polling places are familiar gathering hubs such as schools and churches. On Election Day, these locations will be surrounded by a slew of campaign signs for different political races.

As you near your polling place, you may find yourself shaking hands with a candidate or talking to campaign staffers. They are allowed to do that right up to the entrance.

Their signs have to be at least 200 feet from the polling entrance.

Inside the polling place, no campaigning is allowed. Candidates must remove any campaign stickers or buttons they are wearing once they enter a polling place.

No one is allowed to intimidate voters or interfere with the election process. If this happens, alert a poll manager immediately.

I need a ride to the polls. What do I do?

The Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority service will be free on Election Day.

For more information on routes and schedules, go to RideCARTA.com, now featuring a live chat option, or call 843-724-7420.

Reach Schuyler Kropf at 843-937-5551. Follow him on Twitter at @skropf47.

Political Editor

Schuyler Kropf is The Post and Courier political editor. He has covered every major political race in South Carolina dating to 1988, including for U.S. Senate, governorship, the Statehouse and Republican and Democratic presidential primaries.