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[June 24, 2015]



What is the tentative date of South Carolina’s Republican Presidential Primary? February 20, 2016.

Will the South Carolina Republican Primary be held on the same day as the Democrats’ primary?
Probably not. The Democrats/DNC have announced February 27, 2016 as their primary date.

When will the South Carolina Republican Primary date be officially set? By Friday, November 20, 2015. (Of note: Iowa Republican Caucus is tentatively on February 1, New Hampshire Republican Primary on February 9, Nevada Republican Caucus on February 23)

Does South Carolina have voter registration by party? No.

Who can vote in South Carolina’s Republican Presidential Primary? Anyone registered to vote in South Carolina up to one month before the primary. Individuals can vote ONLY in one party’s Presidential Primary, not both.

When is the voter registration deadline (to vote in the Republican Primary) if the Primary is Saturday, February 20, 2016? Wednesday, January 20.

Who runs and oversees the primary/voting process? The S.C. State Election Commission and county election commissions. Our primary is an official election run by the State of South Carolina and its counties with trained poll managers and workers. In 2012, over 600,000 South Carolinians voted in the Republican Presidential Primary.

Will some precincts be consolidated on Primary Day? Yes, as a cost-saving measure, we expect some precincts to be closed and consolidated. Regardless, many precincts will be open in all forty-six (46) counties.

When will the county election commissions start accepting absentee by mail requests? (via USPS mail and internet) As soon as the State GOP sets the primary date and officially notifies the State Election Commission (at least by Friday, November 20, 2015).

Does South Carolina have early voting? No. But absentee-in-person and absentee-by-mail voting are allowed for fifteen (15) different reasons. Please see them here: http://www.scvotes.org/2009/10/15/absentee_voting

When will in-person absentee voting start? For our Saturday, February 20, 2016 Republican Presidential Primary, it will begin approximately 30 days prior to the election- most likely the day after the voter registration deadline (i.e. January 21, 2016). Voters can cast ballots at their respective county election commission.

When will military and overseas ballots be mailed? No later than 45 days prior to Saturday, February 20, 2016, which is Tuesday, January 5, 2016.

What is the deadline to remove a candidate’s name from printed absentee ballots and the voting machines? Likely Friday, November 20, 2015. If candidates drop out later, signs will be posted in each precinct to notify voters of ineligible candidates.

How do Republican candidates file for the state’s primary? The State Party will provide a filing form with specific instructions. A $40,000 non-refundable filing fee, paid with certified funds, must accompany the filing form at the time of filing.

Where do Republican candidates file for the state’s primary? Candidates can file at the South Carolina Republican Party’s headquarters (1913 Marion Street, Columbia, S.C. 29201) or optionally at a nearby location. We recognize that filing for the primary is a significant opportunity for media exposure. If you would like the State Chairman to appear with your candidate to accept the filing paperwork, please notify the State Party as soon as possible. Campaigns can also mail/deliver notarized forms and the filing fee to State Party headquarters. A filing receipt will be provided.

Is there any other way to appear on the primary ballot? No. The only method for a candidate to appear on the Republican Primary Ballot is to file with the State Party and pay the filing fee. There is no petition process, etc.

How are South Carolina’s fifty (50) National Convention delegates allocated? Twenty-six (26) statewide national delegates will be awarded to the winner of the statewide primary. Three (3) automatic delegates – the state chairman, national committeeman, and national committeewoman – will also be pledged to the winner of the statewide primary. Twenty-one (21) Congressional district delegates will be allocated based on the primary results in each of the state’s seven (7) congressional districts. Each Congressional district is assigned three (3) national delegates and the presidential candidate receiving the greatest number of votes in that district will receive all three (3) of the district’s National Convention delegates.

How are delegates to the National Convention chosen? Twenty-six (26) statewide national delegates will be elected at the S.C. Republican Party State Convention in May 2016. Twenty-one (21) Congressional district delegates will be elected at the seven (7) Congressional district conventions in April 2016. No person is allowed to run for delegate or alternate to the National Convention who is not elected a state delegate or alternate to the state convention in the preceding year.

When is South Carolina’s televised presidential debate? Saturday night, February 13, 2015 on CBS. The debate location is TBD.

Can we have access to the GOP Data Center voter database for South Carolina? Yes. Please contact John Owens at State Party headquarters (contact information below).

South Carolina Republican Party - Points of Contact
Matt Moore
Chairman & Executive Director
South Carolina Republican Party

John Owens

Political Assistant
South Carolina Republican Party