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Provisional Ballot: What you need to know if you are told you are ineligible to vote on election day

Voter suppression has been a concern across the nation this election year. Voter roll purges have been common and have happened in Horry County even when a person missed only one election within the past year. That’s why it is so important to check your voter status before you go to the polls and bring both your photo identification and blue voter registration cards to the polls with you.

If you have any problems at the polls, you can call the Horry County Democratic Party at (843)488-4237. We will have knowledgeable people available to assist you. As an alternative, you can call the Voter Registration and Elections Commission at (843)915-5440.

You will be asked to show one of the following Photo IDs on Election Day:

  • South Carolina Driver’s License
  • ID Card Issued by South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles
  • South Carolina Voter Registration Card with Photo
  • Federal Military ID
  • U.S. Passport

If you do not have one of the above photo IDs, you can get one for free by:

  1. Registered voters can get a voter registration card with a photo from their county voter registration and elections office by providing their date of birth and the last four digits of their Social Security number.
  2. Get a DMV ID card at a local DMV office. To see what documentation is required click here.

If you do not have a photo ID on Election Day you may be able to vote a provisional ballot after showing your non-photo voter registration card. You must have a reasonable impediment to obtaining a photo ID in order to vote the provisional ballot. Reasonable impediments include:

  • Religious objection to being photographed
  • Disability or illness
  • Work schedule
  • Lack of transportation
  • Lack of birth certificate
  • Family responsibilities
  • Any other obstacle you find reasonable

To vote under the reasonable impediment exception:

  • Present your current, non-photo registration card at the polling place
  • Sign an affidavit stating why you cannot obtain a photo ID
  • Cast a provisional ballot that will be counted unless the county election commission has reason to believe your affidavit is false.

If you do not have a photo ID and do not have a reasonable impediment to obtaining one, or you forgot to bring it with you to the polls, you may still vote a provisional ballot. However, for your vote to be counted you must provide one of the photo IDs to the county election commission prior to certification of the election (usually the Thursday or Friday after the election).

You are entitled to cast a provisional ballot if:

  • A poll manager or any voter has reason to believe that you might be ineligible to vote
  • Your name does not appear on the voter registration rolls

All provisional ballots are kept separate and not counted on election night. It will be counted if your registration is verified. You will be given written instructions on the time and place of the provisional ballot hearings and, if the voter registration office can determine you were registered, the provisional ballot will be counted. You can check the status of your provisional ballot online.

State Election Commission
2221 Devine St. Suite 105
PO Box 5987
Columbia, SC 29250-5987
Phone: 803-734-9060
Fax: 803-734-9366
email: elections@elections.sc.gov
Website: https://www.scvotes.org/

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