The general election is Nov. 3. That may seem like a while from now, but Election Day is only 40 days away.
We want you to be ready to cast your ballot with all the confidence in the world, so we’re breaking down all the 2020 election must-knows for you. In South Carolina, you’ll be voting for a Senate representative, Congressional House representatives, local representatives, and of course, the President of the United States. There are no ballot measures this year — AKA state amendments.
In this guide, you’ll find registration + polling information, maps of local voting districts, a breakdown of candidate priorities, a timeline of important dates, and an election dictionary of terms you should know.
Basically, if you have a question about the upcoming election, this is your resource. So go ahead and bookmark it, and as always, reach out to us if you have any questions we didn’t answer.
Head to the polls
Not sure if you’re registered to vote? Check here.
Need to register? Learn how to do that here. Note: You have until 30 days prior to Nov. 3 to register.
Need an absentee ballot? Read all about how to get one here.
Waiting until election day? Polls will be open from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. If you’re in line by 7 p.m., you will be able to vote. Note: Early voting polling places may be different from voting day polling places. Find your polling place here.
Looking for COVID-19 safety information? Find coronavirus updates from the South Carolina Election Commission here.
Candidates by district
Raise your hand if you’re a visual learner. 🙋♀️ To determine your districts, check out the maps + resources below, then use your districts to identify your candidates.
You can also identify your voting districts by checking your voter registration status or sample ballot. Find information on how congressional and state legislative district boundaries are established here.
South Carolina US Congressional districts
South Carolina House of Representatives districts
South Carolina Senate districts
Greenville County political districts
*We highly recommend spending some time with this map. It will show you City Council districts, County Council districts, and state level districts for Greenville County.
Meet the candidates
Since you probably already know about the presidential candidates, we’re focusing on what you need to know on a local level. Candidates are ordered alphabetically by last name for contested positions.
Bill Bledsoe | Constitution | Priorities: No information available.
Lindsey Graham (Incumbent) | Republican | Priorities: Jobs + the economy, supporting SC, a strong America, a strong military, judges and protecting the constitution, health care, the right to life, second amendment, and COVID-19. To read more about their priorities, click here.
Jaime Harrison | Democrat | Priorities: Healthcare, growing the middle class, protecting seniors, ending poverty, education for the 21st century, defending democracy, child care + family leave, environment, national security, standing up for veterans, rebuilding SC’s infrastructure, criminal justice reform, rural hope agenda. To read more about their priorities, click here.
US House Of Representatives
Hosea Cleveland | Democrat | Priorities: COVID-19 recovery, healthcare, education, protecting seniors, child care + family leave, environment, growing the middle class, ending gun violence, justice for Black Americans, passing the Equality Act, rural high-speed broadband internet, people over party, term limits + ending Citizens United. Read more about their priorities here.
Jeff Duncan (Incumbent) | Republican | Priorities: Constitutional issues, economy + jobs, education, energy, financial services, foreign affairs, health, homeland security, social issues, spending cuts + debt, tax reform, transportation, and veterans. Read more about their priorities here.
Michael Chandler | Constitution | Priorities: No information available.
Kim Nelson | Democrat | Priorities: Healthcare, protecting our environment, economic justice, education, ending gun violence, rural broadband access, maternal health, and criminal justice. Read more about their priorities here.
Tom Corbin (Incumbent) | Republican | Priorities: Get our economy back running again, cut taxes and reduce government spending, protect the sanctity of life, and defend our gun rights. Read more about their priorities here.
Dwight Loftis (Incumbent) | Republican | Priorities: No information available.
Karl Allen (Incumbent) | Democrat | Priorities: Criminal justice reform, criminal justice – prisoner rights, senior citizens + special needs utility protection, transportation, community safety, affordable housing, and education. Read more about their priorities here.
Ross Turner (Incumbent) | Republican | Ross Turner is running unopposed.
Danny Verdin III (Incumbent) | Republican | Danny Verdin is running unopposed.
Dawn Bingham | Democrat | Priorities: Health, jobs + the economy, education, infrastructure, conservation, women’s health, racism, accountability, and gun safety. Read more about their priorities here.
Shane Martin (Incumbent) | Republican | Shane Martin is running unopposed.
State House of Representatives
West Cox (Incumbent) | Republican | West Cox is running unopposed.
Mark Willis (Incumbent) | Republican | Mark Willis is running unopposed.
Mike Burns (Incumbent) | Republican | Mike Burns is running unopposed.
Jevarus Howard | Democrat | Priorities: Better education + community involvement, small business, economic development, local transportation, neighborhood safety, and fairness for all + a voice. Read more about their priorities here.
Adam Morgan (Incumbent) | Republican | Priorities: Fighting corruption, police + first responders, education, pro-growth policies, term limits, and the second amendment. Read more about their priorities here.
Bobby Cox (Incumbent) | Republican | Bobby Cox is running unopposed.
BK Brown | Democrat | Priorities: No information available.
Jason Elliott (Incumbent) | Republican | Priorities: Public safety, infrastructure + roads, accountability, education, economy and jobs, state government structural reform, pro-life legislation, and the second amendment. Read more about their priorities here.
Chandra Dillard (Incumbent) | Democrat | Chandra Dillard is running unopposed.
Bruce Bannister (Incumbent) | Republican | Bruce Bannister is running unopposed.
Garry Smith (Incumbent) | Republican | Garry Smith is running unopposed.
Ty Washington | Democrat | Priorities: Increase funding for law enforcement training, increase broadband access, public transportation improvements, increase teacher salary, and improve water quality. Read more about their priorities here.
Rita Allison (Incumbent) | Republican | Rita Allison is running unopposed.
Greenville County Council
Mike Barnes (Incumbent) | Republican | Mike Barnes is running unopposed.
Chris Harrison | Republican | Chris Harrison is running unopposed.
Amanda McDougald Scott | Democrat | Priorities: Inclusive diversity, affordable housing, reliable transportation, quality childcare, equitable healthcare, and clean environment. Read more about their priorities here.
Ben Carper | Republican | Priorities: Unify the West Side of Greenville County, deliver a positive message for growth, promote prosperity for all citizens of District 25, defend the taxpayer, protect individual liberty, pro-business, develop a pride in ownership for all property owners, anti-city annexation, pro-life, and defend the second amendment. Read more about their priorities here.
Will Morin | Democrat | Priorities: Climate change, affordable housing, LGBTQ equality, public safety reforms, sustainable community development, jobs + the economy, local economic development, and emergency services. Read more about their priorities here.
County Clerk of Court
Paul Wickensimer (Incumbent) | Republican | Paul Wickensimer is running unopposed.
Parks Evans (Incumbent) | Republican | Parks Evans is running unopposed.
Register of Deeds
Timothy Nanney (Incumbent) | Republican | Timothy Nanney is running unopposed.
Hobart Lewis (Incumbent) | Republican | Priorities: Response time, visibility, drugs/gangs, securing our elementary schools, community outreach program, customer/citizen service, constitutional rights, and community alliance program. Read more about their priorities here.
Soil and Water District Commission
Margaret Harrison (Incumbent) | Nonpartisan | Margaret Harrison is running unopposed.
There are seven candidates running for nonpartisan Watershed Conservation District positions. To see the list of candidates, click here.
There are 15 candidates running for nonpartisan Greenville County School Board positions. To see the list of candidates, click here.
There are 13 candidates running for nonpartisan School Trustee District positions. To see the list of candidates, click here.
There are five candidates running for nonpartisan Fire District Commissioner positions. To see the list of candidates, click here.
If you are a candidate mentioned in this guide and you would like to clarify the priorities identified for your campaign, please let us know.
General Election timeline
Mark your calendars. 🗓️ Find all of your General Election voting dates + deadlines listed below.
- Nov. 3: Election Day
- Nov. 4: Preliminary results expected; certified results could take longer.
- Oct. 2: Voter registration deadline, in-person by 5 p.m. (unless county board holds weekend hours)
- Oct. 4: Voter registration deadline, email or fax by 11:59 p.m.
- Oct. 5: Voter registration deadline by mail (must be postmarked by this date)
- Oct. 5: In-person absentee voting available
- Oct. 30: Deadline to apply for absentee by mail ballot, 5 p.m.
- Oct. 31: County boards must hold absentee voting hours from 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
- Nov. 2: Deadline to vote absentee in person, 5 p.m.
- Nov. 3: Absentee ballot return deadline, 7 p.m.
- Note: The SC Votes website includes a warning regarding the deadline to apply for absentee by mail ballot. It reads “voters should apply at least one week prior to election day to allow adequate mail time. Applying late puts voters at risk of being unable to return ballots by the deadline of 7:00 p.m. on election day.”
As we get deeper into the election cycle, there’s a lot of terminology circulating out there, and we want to make sure you have a (somewhat) comprehensive resource to help you discern some meaning from it all. We give you GVLtoday’s election dictionary — or, if you’ll indulge us, our electionary. If we missed a word or phrase you’ve been wondering about, be sure to email us or drop a note in the comments section to let us know. Source: Votesmart.org
Absentee voting — Similar to mail-in voting, this process allows voters to submit their ballot through the mail or in-person, without going to the polls on Election Day.
Bond — A debt security issued by a local, state, or national government to support spending toward specific government programs or obligations. Often requires constituent support and appears on ballots for voter determination.
Certified results — The final and official results of an election, as verified by the local elections office. These results confirm that all ballots have been counted.
Citizen — Any person who is a legally-recognized member of a locality, state, or country. Except under exclusionary circumstances, all citizens have the right to exercise their vote.
Congressional districts — The US is divided into 435 jurisdictions for the purposes of electing members to the House of Representatives in Congress. Each district is meant to be proportionately sized for its resident population.
Constituents — The voters within a specific locality or district; the people elected officials represent.
Electoral College — The voters of each state that formally elect the United States President and Vice President. Each state has as many electoral college votes as it does U.S. Representatives and U.S. Senators in Congress combined.
General election — A regular election between candidates of multiple parties, as opposed to a primary election where the candidates are within the same political party.
House of Representatives — One of two houses within the federal branch of government called Congress. Each state has representatives based on its population.
Incumbent — If a candidate running for election is also the current seat-holder for that position, they are called the incumbent.
Mail-in ballot — An official ballot that is submitted to the local elections board by mail instead of in-person at a designated polling place.
Polling place — A designated location where voters cast their ballots in-person on Election Day or during an early voting period.
Popular vote — The raw number of votes cast by individual voters within a locality, state, or country. Within the US system of voting, the popular vote can differ from the deciding votes of the Electoral College.
Preliminary results — The projected or anticipated results of an election, usually announced when the majority of districts are reporting. These results are not definitive and can change as ballots continue to be processed and counted on or after Election Day.
Referendum — The legal process of submitting to the voters for their approval or rejection of proposed state or rejection of proposed state of local laws or constitutional amendments.
Senate — One of two houses within the federal branch of government called Congress. Each state has two senators.
Swing state — Any US state where the level of support for two major political parties is considered to be fairly equal on both sides.
Unaffiliated voters — Voters who are not registered to vote with a specific political party are called unaffiliated.
Voter turnout — The percentage of registered, eligible voters within a locality who cast a ballot during any given election.
This is part of our ongoing election coverage. You can learn more about our Editorial Ethics Policy and how we prioritize information regarding the upcoming elections here.