What we do
At Disability Rights South Carolina, we strive to build a society where all people, regardless of type or severity of disability can exercise their right to vote independently and privately.
We do this by assisting individuals with disabilities who have been discriminated against or denied their right to vote and working to improve laws, regulations, policies and practices that affect voters with disabilities through litigation and advocacy.
Register your way, on your time.
Registering to vote is the first step in voicing your opinion and shaping the future. You can register at any time throughout the year, but to let your voice be heard during a specific election, you must register at least 30 days before that election.
- Be 18 years old, or be turning 18 on or before the next election.
- A current, valid photo ID, or a utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, or government document showing your name and address in your county.
- By mail
- In person
Are you a student? You can vote where you reside while attending college or a university. Simply provide the address to your campus housing or the address you intend to return to while not in the college/university community.
Types of Elections
You have the ability to make a difference.
In South Carolina, there are three different types of elections:
General elections are meant for state-wide or national elections and are not limited to voters in a particular party or a specific locality. These elections are meant to make a final choice among the candidates who have been nominated by parties or who are running as independent or write-in candidates.
Primary elections give voters the opportunity to decide who from a pool of candidates should be nominated by a political party to run in the general election. In South Carolina, open primaries allow all voters to cast their ballot in either primary regardless of party affiliation, meaning a registered Democrat can vote in a Republican primary and vice-versa.
Special elections occur at a time between general elections. Special elections are frequently used to fill openings in offices or for a legislature to place a referendum before the public. A referendum is a direct vote by the electorate on a proposal, law, or political issue.
How to Vote
Your vote is too important to ignore.
Voting in person on Election Day
Ready to vote in person on Election Day? The design of the voting machine makes it easy to customize for your specific needs:
• Tabletop placement for wheelchair accessibility.
• Full-color touchscreen display with zoom functionality and a high-contrast mode.
• Audio-tactile keypad.
• Headphone jack.
• Input for Sip-and-Puff Device and other assistive switches.
Need assistance? Notify a poll manager. Voters with disabilities and voters who are blind or unable to read or write may receive assistance in voting. Additionally, poll managers have printed instructions available for voters who are deaf or hard of hearing.
Voting in person on Election Day via Curbside Voting
Curbside voting is available on Election Day and during the early voting period. Voters who are unable to access the polling place or stand in line to vote due to a disability or being age 65 or older may vote in their vehicle.
Upon arrival, park in the designated curbside voting parking space. Once parked, a poll worker will bring a curbside voting machine to your vehicle when it is your turn in line to vote. Curbside voting does not require a disability parking placard.
Early voting allows for all registered voters to vote in person prior to Election Day. You can take advantage of the early voting period, which includes in-person voting two weeks prior to Election Day.
During early voting, voters can visit any early voting center in their county, present their photo ID and vote using the voting system like they would at their polling place on Election Day. Curbside voting is also available during this time.
Absentee voting allows qualified voters to cast their ballot before Election Day. You can request your absentee ballot as early as January 1 of the election year.
To vote absentee, you must request an application, complete it and submit it to your county voter registration office. Once you receive your paper ballot, you can return it to your county voter registration office or an early voting center either by mail or in person.
How to Report Problems
It’s time to break down the barriers to voting.
If you have a non-disability-related problem voting, notify a poll manager of the issue immediately. That way, any necessary actions can be taken by the poll managers to correct the issue so that less voters are impacted moving forward. Voters can also contact Election Protection at 866-687-8683.
Disability Rights South Carolina is a proud member of the SC Disability Voting Coalition. This is a non-partisan coalition dedicated to increasing the number of people with disabilities who vote through voter education and improved access to the voting process. The coalition is comprised of more than 40 non-profit and state agencies.
You have the right to vote in South Carolina if you have an intellectual disability but that changes if you are placed in guardianship. Learn more by calling Disability Rights South Carolina at 866-275-7273.