2012 Presidential Preference Primary FAQs

Q. What candidates and/or offices are on the ballot?
A. The only candidates on the Republican Presidential Preference Primary ballot are those candidates seeking the Republican Party nomination for President of the United States.  No other offices, candidates or questions will appear on the ballot. A list of the candidates is available at here.

Q. Is the S.C. Democratic Party holding a Presidential Primary?
A. The S.C. Democratic Party will not hold a publicly-conducted presidential primary in 2012.  For more information on the party’s 2012 presidential nominating process, visit the party’s precinct reorganization page at www.scdp.org.

Q. Do I have to be a registered Republican to participate in the Republican Presidential Primary?
A. No, S.C. does not have registration by party. The Presidential Primary is open to all registered S.C. voters.

Q. If I vote in the Republican Presidential Preference Primary, will I be limited to voting in only the Republican State Primary in June?
A. No, voting in a Presidential Primary has no affect on your participation in the State Primaries. Voters who vote in the Republican Presidential Primary will still have the choice of voting in either the Republican or Democratic State Primaries in June.

Q. What do I need to take with me to the polls to vote?
A. You will be required to show any one of the following items to vote:
• Voter registration card*
• Driver’s license
• ID card issued by the S.C. Department of Motor Vehicles
*If you registered by mail, are voting for the first time since registering, and did not include identification with your application; you will not be allowed to vote with only your voter registration card. You must complete the voter registration process by providing one of the following IDs: Either a valid photo ID such as a driver’s license or DMV-issued ID card; or a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck or other government document that shows your name and address in the county.

Q. I’ve lost my voter registration card. Can I still vote?
A. Yes. Voters may also vote with a driver’s license or a DMV-issued ID card. Voters may also get a replacement card from their county voter registration office.

Q. What hours will the polls be open?
A. Polling places are open 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Anyone in line at 7:00 p.m. will be allowed to vote.

Q. Where do I vote?
A. At the polling place in your precinct. Your precinct and polling place are listed on your voter registration card. To ensure your polling place hasn’t changed since your card was issued, check your voter registration by visiting www.scVOTES.org and clicking “Check Your Voter Registration.”

Q. I’ve moved since the last election and haven’t updated my voter registration card. Can I still vote?
A. If the voter moved to…
1. …another residence within his precinct, he can vote at his polling place but must first fill out a
change of address form.
2. …a different precinct within his county, he is eligible vote a failsafe ballot.
3. …another residence in another county within 30 days of the primary, he is eligible to vote a failsafe ballot.
4. …another residence in another county prior to 30 days before the primary, he is not eligible to vote.
Two Options for Voting Failsafe:
1. The voter may vote at the polling place in his previous precinct using a failsafe ballot.
2. The voter may go to the voter registration office in the county in which he currently resides, change his address, and vote there.

Q. Haven’t some candidates withdrawn from the Presidential Primary? Why are their names still on the
A. While some candidates may have suspended their campaigns or stated they have withdrawn, none of the nine certified candidates have officially withdrawn from the Presidential Primary. Even if a candidate were to officially withdraw at this late date, the candidate’s name would still appear on the ballot.

Q. When and where will results be reported?
A. Unofficial results will be reported by the Pickens County Registration & Elections Commission on election night at https://pickenselections.org/ .  You can also watch the election the results live as they come in beginning at 7:00pm on our display inside the Auditorium in the Pickens County Administration Facility.

Q. Will the winner of the Republican Presidential Primary appear as a candidate for President of the United States on the November 6, 2012, General Election ballot?
A. Not necessarily. The Republican nominee for President is determined at the Republican National Convention in late August 2012. The nominee selected at the convention will appear on S.C. General Election ballots in November. The Presidential Primary does have an effect on how the S.C. Republican Party’s delegates will vote at the convention. For details on how the Republican Party’s Presidential nominating process works, contact the party at 803-988-8440 or visit www.scgop.com.

Q. Will there be a runoff if no one gets a majority of the votes?
A. No. There are no runoffs in presidential primaries.

Q. I saw people campaigning at my polling place. Can they do that?
A. Yes, but there are restrictions:
-Inside the polling place: No campaigning is allowed. Candidates may be inside the polling place and talk to voters as long as they are not campaigning, intimidating voters, or interfering with the election process.
-Within 200 feet of an entrance to a polling place: Candidates and campaign staff may campaign as long as they are not intimidating voters or interfering with the election process. However, no campaign literature, signs, or posters are allowed. Candidates are allowed to wear a badge no larger than 4.25” x 4.25” featuring only the candidate’s name and office sought. Candidates must remove their badge upon entering a polling place.
-Outside 200 feet of an entrance to a polling place: does not fall under the jurisdiction of the poll clerk.

Q. Someone is definitely campaigning inside the polling place, or there is campaign literature within 200 feet of the entrance. What can I do?
A. Inform the poll clerk immediately. If the issue is not resolved, contact our office at 864-898-5948 or 864-898-5949 and inform us of the situation.  We will address the complaint.

Q. Can candidates or their representatives give voters rides to the polls?
A. Yes.

Q. When is a recount necessary?
A. When the difference between any candidate declared nominated and any other candidate not declared nominated is 1% or less of the total votes cast for all candidates for that office, a recount is mandatory.

Q. Do employers have to give you time off to vote?
A. No. There is no state or federal law mandating that employers must give time off to employees to cast their vote. Voters who know they will not be able to visit the polls on Election Day should apply to vote absentee before the day of the election.

Q. Can alcoholic beverages be sold on Election Day?
A. Yes, there is no restriction on the sale of alcohol on the day of a Primary. However, state law does prohibit retail liquor sales on the day of the General Election. For more information contact the S.C. Department of Revenue, (803) 898-5864.

Q. Can lottery tickets be sold on Primary Day?
A. Yes. There is currently no prohibition on the sale or validation of lottery tickets on the day of the 2012 Presidential Primary. However, lottery activity may be limited on other statewide election days.

Q. Where can I file a complaint about the election?
A. Complaints should be addressed to our office.  Please contact us at 864-898-5948 or 864-898-5949.

Q. Are there any laws about candidates posting their signs along the roadway?
A. Yes, there are several state laws addressing political signs on roadways, as well as county and municipal ordinances. See S.C. Code of Laws Sections 57-25-10, 57-25-140, and 7-25-210. Ultimately, it is the responsibility of the entity that maintains the road (state, county, or municipality) to enforce applicable sign laws.  More information can be found here.

Q. When I left the polls, I was asked to participate in an “exit poll.” Is this legal?
A. Exit polls are legal and participation is voluntary. They are NOT conducted by the State Election Commission or the Pickens County Registration & Elections Commission. Generally, polls may not be conducted inside the polling place, and we ask that voters not be approached before they have voted. If a voter feels threatened or intimidated by a pollster, it should be reported immediately to the precinct’s poll clerk.