Your SC Democratic Primary Primer

What you need to know before going out to vote on Saturday

Matthew Causey
February 28, 2020 - 6:36 pm
SC Democratic Primary Voter Registration deadline

File Photo


The Democratic Primary election in South Carolina takes place on Saturday, February 29th.

Here's some things you should be aware of before going out to vote!


Voter Registration - Am I actually registered?

  • You of course have to register to be able to vote., the website of the South Carolina Election Commission, is the site to use in order to get the materials needed to register and check on your registration whenever you may need.

What is a Presidential Preference Primary?

  • A Presidential Preference Primary, often simply referred to as "Presidential Primary", is the public election that political parties hold in order to select the party's nominee for President in the general November election.

When are polling locations open?

  • Polling locations will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and anyone in line by 7 p.m. will be allowed to vote.

Do I need to take anything with me when I go to vote?

  • You will need a photo ID, as polling staff have to confirm who you are before you can vote! So don't forget your driver's license or other legal form of photo ID.
  • If you don't have a photo ID, then you can't vote without one. It's important that you get one as soon as possible if you plan to vote in future elections!
  • One thing you WON'T need at the polls is a camera. No photos are permitted in voting booths.

Who and what will be on the ballot on Saturday?

  • The only thing being voted on Saturday is on the Democratic candidate to receive the party's nomination for President. You can find a list of the candidates here.
  • It's important to be an informed voter, so extra research on each candidate and their stances is always a great idea!

Polling Locations - Where am I supposed to go to vote on Saturday?

  • Greenville County is still operating on the special election polling locations, which you may have used in the Sheriff Republican primary last month.
  • If you're even slightly worried about correctly remembering where you're supposed to vote, is once again your saving grace.
  • A quick click on "Find My Polling Place" on their main page and putting in your name and a couple other pieces of information will tell you exactly where you're supposed to go in order to vote on Saturday.

Do I Have to be a Democrat to Vote in the Presidential Primary?

  • No. South Carolina does not register voters by party affiliation. You are free to vote in whichever primary you would prefer.
  • However, there will not be a Republican Presidential Primary in South Carolina.

Why won't there be a Republican Presidential Primary in South Carolina?

  • The Republican Party of South Carolina decided not to hold a primary in the state. Some groups and individuals have called for Republicans to vote in the open Democratic primary in what has been named "Operation Chaos".
  • The topic is controversial, and legilation from SC District 37 Representative Steven Long may require SC voters to register by party in the future if the legislation makes it through Congress.
  • This would restrict the ability for parties to affect each others' primaries like what is being suggested through "Operation Chaos".

Why are some candidates missing on the ballot or some that withdrew are still listed?

  • Not all candidates may file to run in the South Carolina primary, only nationally. The ballot lists all the candidates that filed to run in SC and didn't withdraw.
  • Speaking of withdrawals, why might there be a name on the ballot of someone who withdrew from the election? The ballots are made at a specific time, and someone who withdraws too close to or after that time may still be listed on the ballot.

Can I write-in a candidate?

  • Write-ins are not allowed in primaries. So no, you can't actually vote for Bob or Tara!

I still have my absentee ballot. What should I do with it?

  • You can take it in to the Greenville County elections office by no later than 7 p.m. Saturday evening. Poll managers cannot accept your absentee ballot.

'My best buddy is a candidate, can they give me a ride to the polls?'

  • Yes! Anyone, including candidates, are allowed to bring people to a voting location. The SC Democratic party has even announced that they are willing to help get people to the polls to vote!

Where can I find out the results of the primary?

  • Right here with us! Stay updated on the results of the primary as they become available with us here.
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