South Carolina Legislature

1976 South Carolina Code of Laws
Updated through the end of the 2008 Session


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Title 7 - Elections



SECTION 7-1-10. Short title.

This Title shall be known as the "South Carolina Election Law."

SECTION 7-1-20. Definitions.

The following words and phrases used herein, unless the same be plainly inconsistent with the context, shall be construed as follows:

(1) "General election" means the election provided herein to be held for the election of officers to the regular terms of office provided by law, whether State, United States, county, municipal or of any other political subdivision of the State, and for voting on constitutional amendments proposed by the General Assembly;

(2) "Special election" means any other election including any referendum provided by law to be held under the provisions of law applicable to general elections;

(3) "Primary" means a party primary election held by a political party under the provisions of this Title;

(4) "Inhabitants" means the number of inhabitants according to the Federal census last taken;

(5) "Electoral board" means the board or other authority empowered to hold a general or special election;

(6) A "voting or polling precinct" shall mean an area created by the legislature for convenient localization of polling places and which shall be administered and votes counted therein as a local unit in all elections;

A "voting place" shall be any place within a voting or polling precinct wherein ballots may be cast.

(7) "Political party" means a political party, organization, or association certified as such by the State Election Commission in the manner provided for in this title;

(8) "State committee" means the State executive committee of a political party;

(9) "State chairman" means the chairman of the State executive committee of a political party;

(10) "County committee" means the county executive committee of a political party;

(11) "County chairman" means the chairman of the county executive committee of a political party;

(12) "Club district" means the territory of the general election voting place or precinct in which the political party club is formed under this Title, whether a ward or township or a subdivision thereof;

(13) "Booth" includes a voting machine booth, curtain or enclosure; and

(14) "Legal holiday" means any holiday recognized by the State or Federal law.

(15) "Voter", "Registered voter", "Elector", "Registered elector", "Qualified elector", or "Qualified registered elector" means any person whose name is contained on the active roster of voters maintained by the State Election Commission and whose name has not been removed from the roster for any of the reasons named in items (2) and (3) of subsection (C) of Section 7-3-20 and who possesses a valid registration certificate.

SECTION 7-1-25. "Domicile" defined.

(A) A person's residence is his domicile. "Domicile" means a person's fixed home where he has an intention of returning when he is absent. A person has only one domicile.

(B) For voting purposes, a person has changed his domicile if he (1) has abandoned his prior home and (2) has established a new home, has a present intention to make that place his home, and has no present intention to leave that place.

(C) For voting purposes, a spouse may establish a separate domicile.

SECTION 7-1-30. Receipt of public aid does not disfranchise any citizen.

Nothing in this Title shall disfranchise any citizen, if otherwise qualified, who may receive any public aid from the State or Federal Government through the Department of Social Services or any other State or Federal agency.

SECTION 7-1-40. Title applicable to all elections.

This Title shall apply to and control all elections, including elections for the issuance of bonds and other elections in which any question or issue is submitted to a vote of the people.

SECTION 7-1-50. Contesting election of Governor.

In case of a contest of the election of Governor, if the General Assembly by concurrent resolution shall entertain the same, the Senate and House of Representatives shall, each separately, proceed to hear and determine the facts in the case, so far as they deem necessary, and decide thereon who is entitled to be declared elected. If the two branches of the General Assembly come to the same decision, they shall, by concurrent resolution, declare who is duly elected and entitled to enter upon and exercise the office of Governor; and such person thereupon shall, upon taking the oath prescribed in the Constitution, be inducted into office. If the two branches of the General Assembly do not come to the same decision, then an election shall be called by the Governor, to take place in not less than sixty nor more than ninety days, at which the qualified electors shall proceed to vote for a suitable person to fill the office of Governor.

SECTION 7-1-60. Each multiple office is separate and distinct; candidate is to qualify for one specific office; ballots for multiple offices.

Each multiple office in this State shall constitute a separate and distinct office to which a separate number shall be assigned within each election district for such an office. A candidate for such an office shall be required to qualify for a specific office and shall not be permitted to qualify for more than one such office in any one election.

The election ballots for multiple offices shall reflect the number assigned to each office and the names of the candidates.

SECTION 7-1-70. Catawba Indians, if otherwise qualified, are citizens.

All Catawba Indians, otherwise qualified, are hereby declared to be citizens of the State of South Carolina and shall enjoy and have all the rights and privileges belonging to other citizens of the State.

SECTION 7-1-80. Liability of broadcasting station for defamatory statement by candidate.

The owner, licensee or operator of a visual or sound radio broadcasting station or network of stations and the agents or employees of any such owner, licensee or operator shall not be liable for any damages for any defamatory statement published or uttered in or as a part of a visual or sound radio broadcast by a candidate for political office in those instances where, under the acts of Congress or the rules and regulations of the Federal Communications Commission, the broadcasting station or network of stations, is prohibited from censoring the material broadcast by such candidate, provided the owner, licensee, or operator shall cause to be made at the conclusion of the broadcast the following announcement in substance; "The broadcast you have just heard was not censored in accord with the immunity from censorship extended legally qualified political candidates."

SECTION 7-1-100. Availability to media of local ballot question and simplified explanation thereof.

(A) If a countywide or less than countywide referendum is held on a question, the electoral board charged with conducting the referendum shall make the ballot question available to the news media in the county at least forty-five days in advance of the date of the referendum.

(B) If the electoral board determines that a referendum question is of a nature that it might not be clearly understood by the voters, it may prepare a simplified or, when appropriate, more detailed explanation of the question that must be placed on the ballot along with the referendum question. When mechanical devices for voting are used, printed copies of the explanation must be made available at each voting precinct. The explanation provided must be made available to the news media in the county on the same schedule provided in subsection (A).

(C) No referendum may be challenged on the grounds that the electoral board failed to act in a timely manner to implement this section.

(D) The provisions of Section 7-13-2130 apply with respect to any proceeding challenging a referendum based on any explanation provided by the electoral board.

(E) The provisions of this section do not apply to a referendum for which the General Assembly provides the ballot question.

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