Voting Q&A for the June 10 primaries

Posted June 5, 2014 2:22 pm | Filed under Featured, Local News
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The June 10 primaries in York County will mainly focus on two races for the S.C. House of Representatives and two races for York County Council.

We will cover these individual races early next week — but if you plan on voting early, have moved recently or are not sure if you have the correct credentials to vote at the polls, see this Q&A from the S.C. Election Commission.

 

Q. What candidates and/or offices are on the ballot today?

A. The candidates and offices on a particular ballot will differ depending on the county and districts in which you reside and the primary in which you’re voting (Republican or Democratic). To see the candidates that will appear on your ballot, visit scVOTES.org and click “Get My Sample Ballot” in the mySCVOTES section of the homepage.

 

Q. Where do I vote?

A. At the polling place in your precinct. Your precinct and polling place are listed on your voter registration card. However, it’s possible your polling place may have changed since the card was issued. To be sure of the location of your polling place:

  • Visit scVOTES.org and click “Find My Polling Place” in the mySCVOTES section of the homepage.
  • Call your county voter registration office.

 

Q. What do I need to take with me to the polls to vote?

A. When voting in person, you will be asked to show one of the following Photo IDs:

  • SC Driver’s License
  • SC Department of Motor Vehicles ID Card
  • SC Voter Registration Card with Photo
  • US Passport
  • Federal Military ID (includes all Department of Defense Photo IDs and the Department of Veterans Affairs Benefits Card)

 

Q. What should I do if I don’t have one of the listed Photo IDs?

A. Make your voting experience as fast and easy as possible by getting a free Photo ID from your county voter registration and elections office or your local DMV office.

  • If you’re already registered to vote, go to your county voter registration and elections office, provide your date of birth and the last four digits of your Social Security Number. Then, have your photo taken. Click here for Attire & Appearance guidelines for photographs.
  • If you are not yet registered, you need to register to vote first. You can register and have your photo taken on the same day; however, you must have registered by May 10 in order to participate in the June 10 Primary. If you’ve missed the deadline, go ahead and register and get a Photo ID. You’ll be ready for next time. Click here to learn more about registering to vote.
  • To learn how to get a free DMV ID card, call or visit your local DMV office or visit scdmvonline.com

 

Q. What if I forget to bring my Photo ID to my polling place?

A. You can either retrieve your Photo ID and return to vote, or vote a provisional ballot that will count only if you show your Photo ID to the election commission prior to certification of the election (on Thursday for primaries).

 

Q. What if I can’t get a Photo ID?

A. Bring your non-photo voter registration card with you to the polling place. This will allow you to sign an affidavit stating you have a reasonable impediment to obtaining Photo ID and then vote a provisional ballot. This provisional ballot will count unless someone proves to the election commission that you are lying about your identity or about having the listed impediment.

A reasonable impediment is any valid reason, beyond your control, which created an obstacle to obtaining a Photo ID. Some examples include:

  • a disability or illness
  • a conflict with your work schedule
  • a lack of transportation
  • a lack of a birth certificate
  • family responsibilities
  • a religious objection to being photographed
  • any other obstacle you find reasonable

 

To vote under the reasonable impediment exception:

  1. Inform the poll managers that you do not have a photo ID and could not get one.
  2. Present your current, non-photo registration card.
  3. Sign the affidavit provided by the poll managers stating why you could not obtain a Photo ID.
  4. Cast a provisional ballot that will be counted unless the county election commission has reason to believe your affidavit is false.

 

Q. What hours will the polls be open?

A. Polling places will be open 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. for the June 10 Primary and the June 24 Runoff. As long as you are in line by 7:00 p.m., you will be allowed to vote.

 

Q. Why can’t I vote in both primaries?

A. State law prohibits voters from voting in more than one party’s primary on the same day. Poll managers will ask voters, “In which party’s primary do you wish to vote today?”

 

Q. If I voted in one party’s primary, can I vote in the other party’s runoff?

A. No. The runoff is a continuation of the primary. If you voted in a party’s primary, you can vote only in the runoff of the same party. If you were eligible but did not vote in a primary, you can vote in either party’s runoff.

Q. I’ve moved since the last election and haven’t updated by voter registration card. Can I still vote?

A. If you…

  1. …moved to another residence within your precinct, you can update your address at your polling place and vote a regular ballot.
  2. …moved to a different precinct within your county, you are eligible vote Failsafe (see below).
  3. …moved to another residence in another county within 30 days of the primary, you are eligible to vote Failsafe (see below).
  4. …moved to another residence in another county prior to 30 days before the primary, you are not eligible to vote.

 

Two Options for Voting Failsafe:

  1. The voter may vote at the polling place in his previous precinct using a failsafe provisional ballot. A failsafe provisional ballot contains only federal, statewide, countywide, and municipality-wide offices.
  2. The voter may go to the voter registration office in the county in which he currently resides, change his address, and vote a regular ballot there.

 

Q. I saw a candidate/member of candidate’s campaign at my polling place talking to voters. Can he do that?

A. Yes, but there are restrictions:

  • Inside the polling place: No campaigning is allowed. Candidates may be inside the polling place and talk to voters as long as they are not campaigning, intimidating voters, or interfering with the election process.
  • Within 200 feet of an entrance to a polling place: Candidates and campaign staff may campaign as long as they are not intimidating voters or interfering with the election process. However, no campaign literature, signs, or posters are allowed. Candidates are allowed to wear a badge no larger than 4.25” x 4.25” featuring only the candidate’s name and office sought. Candidates must remove their badge upon entering a polling place.

 

Q. A candidate is definitely campaigning while in the polling place, or there is campaign literature within 200 feet of the entrance. What can I do?

A. Inform the poll clerk immediately. If the issue is not resolved, contact the county election commission. The election commission will address the complaint.

 

Q. Can candidates or their representatives take people to the polls to vote?

A. Yes. It’s ok for any person, even a candidate, to give a voter a ride as long as it’s solely to help facilitate voting. However, no one can give a voter anything of value in exchange for voting.

Q. When/where will results be reported?

A. Unofficial results will be reported on election night at scVOTES.org in real time as the SEC receives them from each county election commission.

 

Q. When is a recount necessary?

A. When the difference between any candidate declared nominated and any other candidate not declared nominated is 1% or less of the total votes cast for all candidates for that office, a recount is mandatory.

 

Q. How is the winner determined in a Primary?

A. A candidate must receive a majority of votes cast for that office to win the primary. In offices with one seat to fill (most offices), majority is determined by dividing the total votes cast for the office by two. Any number of votes in excess of the quotient is a majority. If no candidate has a majority, then the two candidates remaining with the highest number of votes will appear in a runoff two weeks after the date of the primary (June 24th).

 

Q. How is the winner determined in a runoff?

A. The candidate with the highest number of votes wins.

 

Q. Do employers have to give you time off to vote?

A. No. There is no state or federal law mandating that employers give time off to employees to vote. Voters who know they will not be able to visit the polls on Election Day should apply to vote absentee before the day of the election.

 

Q. Are there any laws about candidates posting their signs along the roadway?

A. Yes, there are several state laws addressing political signs on roadways, as well as county and municipal ordinances. See SC Code of Laws Sections 57-25-10, 57-25-140, and 7-25-210. Ultimately, it is the responsibility of the entity that maintains the road (state, county, and municipality) to enforce applicable sign laws.

 

Q. When I left the polls, I was asked to participate in an “exit poll.” Is this legal?

A. Exit polls are legal and participation is voluntary. They are NOT conducted by the State Election Commission or the county election commissions. Exit polls may not be conducted inside the polling place, and voters should not be approached as they enter the polling place. If you feel threatened or intimidated by a pollster, report it immediately to the poll clerk.

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