South Carolina

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Election Law

  • Method for Choosing Presidential Electors: Statewide Popular Vote, Winner-Take-All
  • Fusion Legal: Yes
  • Primary/Caucus: At the discretion of the party. If a primary, must be held on a specific date and paid for by the party. No party registration, but voters may participate only in one primary or caucus for each election. Presidential primary date is separate from the primary for other races and considered a separate election.


There are, as of 2008, eight certified parties in South Carolina, six of which are affiliated with a national party. To register a new party requires the signatures of 10,000 registered voters.

Petition Candidates

Candidates may also have their names appear on the ballot by filing a petition by noon 120 days before election day.

Petitions must contain the signatures of the lesser of 10,000 registered voters or 5% of the active registered voters of the area of the office. The 5% is based on the total number of registered voters in the area of the office 120 days prior to the election. At present, the 10,000 figure applies for statewide offices, U.S. Congressional races, some multi-county offices and for countywide offices in Greenville County.

Petitions must be standardized as follows:

  • Be on 8 1/2 " x 14" good quality original bond paper.
  • Contain a concise statement of purpose, name of candidate, office and date of election.
  • Contain in separate columns from left to right the signature and printed name of voter, address where registered and precinct.
  • Each petition page must contain signatures of registered voters from the same county.
  • Each page must be consecutively numbered.

Write-in Candidates

Write-in candidates are allowed for the general election only and must not have been defeated for that office in a primary election. Write-in votes are not accepted for President or Vice President.

Ballot Position

The order of offices on a ballot is as follows:

  • President and Vice President
  • Governor
  • Lieutenant Governor
  • Secretary of State
  • State Treasurer
  • Attorney General
  • Comptroller General
  • State Superintendent of Education
  • Adjutant General
  • Commissioner of Agriculture
  • U.S. Senator
  • U.S. Representative in Congress
  • State Senate
  • State House of Representatives
  • Circuit Solicitors
  • County and less than county offices
  • Soil and Water Commissioners
  • Watershed Commissioners

The order of parties on the ballot is determined by a rotating list. For the 2006 Election the order will be:

  • United Citizens
  • Reform
  • Green
  • Republican
  • Libertarian
  • Petition
  • Democrat
  • Constitution
  • Working Families

For the next two year cycle, the party at the top of the list is moved to the bottom of the list.

Election Commission

The State Election Commission certifies the results for the presidential election, to the U.S. Congress, to the General Assembly, and to multi-county offices. The State Election Commission also maintans a statewide voter registration system. County election commissions certify the results for elections affecting only that county, handle the manning of precincts and the purchase of voting equipment.

Ethics Commission

Persons wishing to run for state or local office in South Carolina must file Campaign Diclosure Forms that list their contributors with the Ethics Commission. As of January 11, 2006, the information for those running for statewide office was made available via the Internet.

Election Results

Presidential Election Results

Senatorial Election Results

Gubernatorial Election Results

Lieutenant Gubernatorial Election Results

Secretary of State Election Results

State Treasurer Election Results

Attorney General Election Results

Comptroller General Election Results


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