Election Law Changes for 2020 General Election - UPDATED
H.5305 has been ratified and signed by the Governor. The bill can be found here: - https://www.scstatehouse.gov/sess123_2019-2020/bills/5305.htm. ALL VOTERS ARE NOW ELIGIBLE TO VOTE ABSENTEE FOR THE GENERAL ELECTION.
SECTION1. Due to the significant health threat and risks associated with 2019 Novel Coronavirus, also referred to as COVID-19, the following SECTIONS are changes for the 2020 General Election.
SECTION2. A qualified elector must be permitted to vote by absentee ballot in an election if the qualified elector's place of residence or polling place is located in an area subject to a state of emergency declared by the Governor and there are fewer than forty-six days remaining until the date of the General Election to be held on November 3, 2020.
SECTION 3. Completed applications for absentee ballots must be received by the county board of elections and voter registration before: (a) 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 24, 2020, if submitted by mail; (b) 5:00 p.m. on Friday, October 30, 2020, if submitted in-person, or by the qualified elector's authorized representative; or (c) 5:00 on Monday, November 2, 2020, for a qualified elector who appears in person. In addition, if a qualified elector is admitted to a hospital as an emergency patient from Friday, October 30, 2020, through Tuesday, November 3, 2020, an immediate family member of the qualified elector may obtain an application from the board on the day of the election, complete it, receive the ballot, deliver it personally to the patient who shall vote, and the immediate family member personally carry the ballot back to the board of voter registration and elections.
SECTION4. A qualified elector must submit an absentee ballot to the county board of elections and voter registration either: (a) by mail; or (b) by returning the sealed envelopes containing the ballot during office hours, either personally or by authorized representative with the appropriate form as required by law. If the envelope containing an absentee ballot is returned in-person, the envelope must be submitted to staff or an official at the county board of elections and voter registration or at a satellite office where the election staff or officials receive the envelope at the time of delivery and examine the envelope, and the authorization form, if applicable. The county board of elections and voter registration shall ensure that returned absentee ballots are secured in a locked box within the office in accordance with Section 7-15-385.
SECTION 5. Beginning on October 5, 2020, each county board of elections and voter registration must provide for in-office absentee voting for the November 3, 2020, General Election.