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Everyone Can Vote by Absentee Ballot

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

The Senate and House reconvened this week to adopt a Continuing Resolution so that we can continue with the state's business beyond the May 14th end of session date. In the resolution, we approved a $25 million allocation to COVID-19 testing and another $15 million for election safety while also allowing state government to continue to operate past July 1 without a new budget.

Another important vote we took was to allow a state of emergency to be a valid reason to request an absentee ballot by mail or in person for the upcoming primary on June 9, 2020. Therefore, all South Carolina voters may request an absentee ballot NOW by visiting

Voting absentee by mail requires the following steps. Photo ID is not required to vote absentee by mail.

Step 1: Get an absentee application in one of two ways:

  • Get the application online. Use this link to get your application or the application of an immediate family member. You must be able to print it or save it for printing later. You can also use this link to access your application to print again.

  • Request an application for yourself or your immediate family member from your respective county's local elections office. In Richland County, you will request one from the Richland County Elections and Voter Registration office by phone (803) 576-2240; fax (803) 576-1510; email:; or mail, and you will be mailed an application.

Step 2: Once you've printed your application online or received your application in the mail, you must complete it, sign it, and return it to your respective county's local elections office. You should return the application as soon as possible but no later than 5:00 p.m. on the Friday before the election, which is June 5, 2020 for the upcoming primary.

Step 3: Receive your absentee ballot in the mail.

Step 4: Vote the ballot by following the instructions and returning it to your respective county's local elections office by 7:00 p.m. on the day of the election. You may return the ballot personally or by mail. You may also have another person return the ballot for you, but you must first complete an authorization to return absentee ballot form, available from the voter registration office.

The opportunity to vote in person absentee is also an available option. You can go to your respective county's local elections office, complete an application, and cast your vote. In Richland County, it will be at the Richland County Elections and Voter Registration office located at 2020 Hampton Street, Columbia, SC 29204. You may vote in person absentee up until 5:00 p.m. on the day before the election. Rules for photo ID required to vote at the polling place apply.

As a reminder, there will be several important local, State House, and congressional races on the ballot. Since we don't register by party, you may vote in either primary but you may not vote in both.

Here is a full list of the Richland County local elections for the respective party's primary on June 9, 2020:

Democratic Primary -

Richland County Sheriff

Leon Lott

Jason Roberts

A V Strong

Richland County Council District, 02

Derrek Pugh

Joyce Dickerson

Richland County Council District, 07

Richard Brown

Gretchen Barron

Gwendolyn Davis Kennedy

Richland County Council District, 08

Hamilton Grant

Wayne Gilbert

Overture Walker

Richland County Council District, 09

Jonnieka Farr

Calvin Chip Jackson

Angela Gary Addison

Jerry Rega

Richland County Council District, 10

Dalhi Myers

Cheryl D English

Jackie Bush

Richland County Coroner

Gary Watts

Naida Rutherford

State House of Representatives, District 75

Rhodes Bailey

Heather Bauer

State House of Representatives, District 80 Jimmy Bales

Jermaine Johnson

Republican Primary –

State Senate - District 20

Benjamin Dunn

Randy Dickey

State Senate, District 22 David Larsen

Lee Blatt

If you have a comment or opinion concerning the matters discussed in this report, or if I may be of assistance to you at any time, please feel free to call my legislative office at (803-212-6940) or write to me at 532C Blatt Building, Columbia, South Carolina 29201 or

Thank you for the honor and privilege of representing you and our community at the State House.

Be safe! Stay vigilant!


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