South Carolina Recount Laws

This information was updated in October 2016.

Voting System Used: 

DREs without VVPAT

For more details, visit Verified Voting.

Counting Method : 

Electronic review only

Despite South Carolina's various recount provisions, the state currently uses direct-recording electronic machines (DREs) without a voter-verified paper audit trail (VVPAT) as their primary voting system. This means that only an electronic review may be conducted for most votes in South Carolina.

Initiating Mechanisms: 

Close vote margin

Close Vote Margin Options: 

Less than or equal to 1%
Initiated automatically

South Carolina mandates a “recount” (as noted above, this is an electronic review) for both primary and general elections if the vote margin between the apparent winning candidate and any other candidate is not more than 1% of the total votes cast for the respective office, or if the difference between votes cast for and against a constitutional amendment is not more than 1% of the total votes cast for the amendment. See Section 7-17-280.

See Section 7-17-280. However, the Municipal Election Commission Handbook states that, for municipal elections, the recount may not begin on election night, but must take place after the certification meeting of the election commission. See Mandatory Recounts on page 22.

Challengers and Observers : 

No statutory guidance for recount observers
No statutory guidance for recount challengers

We found no statutes requiring that recounting be conducted publicly, nor statutes permitting either candidates or voters to have either observers or challengers.

Rules for Determining Voter Intent: 

Statutory guidance provided

The statutory guidance provided for determining voter intent in South Carolina states: If a voter marks more names than there are persons to be elected or nominated to an office or if for any reason it is impossible to determine the voter's choice for any office to be filled, his ballot shall not be counted for such office;  See section 7-13-1120.  For determining voter intent for write-in votes, see Section 7-15-750.

State Has Audit Laws: