The COMET will provide free rides for voters on Election Day. (Photos by Grace Tippett)
Tuesday is Election Day in South Carolina.
Richland and Lexington County residents can use this guide to find their polling location, get a ride and know what to bring to the booth.
STEP 1: Finding your polling location
To find your polling location, go to scVOTES.gov and click “Find My Polling Place.”
This option will take you to MyscVOTES, where you can log in using the personal information that matches your voter registration card. You don’t need your card to do this. You will be asked to input your county of residence, first and last name, date of birth and the last four digits of your Social Security number.
You can also find your polling location by calling your local election commission.
Richland voters can reach the Richland County Voter Registration and Elections Office at (803) 576-2240 or go to richlandcountysc.gov for a full list of county polling precincts.
Lenice Shoemaker is the director of the Lexington County Voter Registration and Elections Office.
“If anybody has any questions, they can call my office and we can check that information for you,” Shoemaker said.
Lexington voters can reach the Lexington County Voter Registration and Elections Office at (803) 785-8361 or go to lex-co.sc.gov for information.
Your precinct and polling place should also be printed on your voter registration card.
STEP 2: Catching a ride
The Columbia-based COMET will be offering free rides to polling locations on Election Day.
The organization recommends downloading the Transit App to view the fixed bus routes and plan your trip.
In a press release announcing the Election Day ride program, the COMET’s chief operating officer, LeRoy DesChamps, said the organization wants to make sure transportation is accessible for those needing a ride to the polls.
“Voting is an essential activity that provides everyone with an equal opportunity to let their voice be heard, and just knowing what bus or route to take to the polls is the first step in that process,” DesChamps said in the release.
The Dial-A-Ride Transit (DART) Service will also be available upon request. Usually this service is only available for qualifying persons with a disability, but it will also be available for older adults if requested Tuesday.
Also, the ride-share service Lyft is offering an Election Day discount to riders across the United States. The company is offering 50% off, up to $10. Users can enter the code VOTE22 in the Lyft app to claim the offer.
STEP 3: Cast your Ballot
To cast your ballot in person, you must present a valid form of identification.
You can bring a S.C. driver’s license, a S.C. Department of Motor Vehicles ID card, a S.C. voter registration card with photo, a U.S. passport or a federal military ID.
Polling places will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Shoemaker said the polls are busiest in the morning before work, during lunch time and after business hours.
“If you want to wait until 10 to 12, or, you know, that little window from 2 to 4, those are good windows if you don’t want to be in a lot of traffic” or standing in a line, Shoemaker said.
As long as you are in line by 7 p.m., you will be able to vote, according to state law.
“If you’re not in line at seven o’clock, you won’t be able to vote,” Shoemaker said. “You have to be in line before seven.”
Each adult resident must enter the voting booth individually. Registered voters may only bring children under the age of 18 with them into the booth.