June Primaries & COVID-19
The June 9 Primaries and associated June 23 Primary Runoffs will be held as scheduled. The State Election Commission (SEC) has no authority to delay the primaries. Recent changes to election law allow all voters to vote absentee in the June Primaries. Voters will be encouraged to vote absentee, but we also must provide in-person absentee voting and voting at polling places on election day.
State and county election officials know many of our long-serving and dedicated poll managers, particularly those that fall into high-risk categories, have decided that working the polls in June is not worth the associated risk to their health. The SEC understands and respects each and every poll manager’s decision on whether to serve in this challenging time. We thank you for your service. Our sincere hope is that as our situation improves, you can continue serving in the future.
If you are willing and able to serve, South Carolina needs you. The fact is we must have poll managers to have elections. Unless new poll managers step up to serve, we expect counties will have to close and consolidate polling places.
The SEC and county election officials will be taking steps to help make polling places as safe as possible for voters and poll managers, including: providing masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, sanitizing wipes, and disposable cotton swabs for making touchscreen selections. We will also provide online training when possible and small-group, socially-distanced training when necessary.
Poll Worker Pay for June 9 Primaries
Poll Managers (and poll manager's assistants): $60 for attending training + $15 for COVID-19 training + $75 for working on election day + $15 for additional COVID-19 related duties on election day = $165 Total
Clerks (the lead poll manager): Poll Manager Pay + $60 for additional training and responsibilities = $225 Total
If a runoff is necessary, poll managers will receive $90 for working the day of the runoff, June 23.
Some counties may supplement poll manager pay. Check with your county voter registration and elections office.
Poll manager pay will be considered per diem and does not constitute wages. Individuals receiving unemployment benefits will not be required to report these earning when filing their weekly unemployment insurance claims, and this per diem will not count against their allowed earnings. Learn more at dew.sc.gov.
Poll Manager Qualifications
- Poll Managers (except Poll Manager Assistants) must be registered to vote in South Carolina.
- Any 16 or 17-year-old can apply to be a Poll Manager Assistant.
- Clerks must be a registered voter in the county in which they are serving or an adjoining county.
- Poll Managers may not be a candidate or the spouse, parent, child, brother, or sister of a candidate at any polling place where the candidate’s name appears on the ballot.
Poll Manager’s Oaths:
“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I am duly qualified, according to the Constitution of this State, to exercise the duties of the office to which I have been appointed, and that I will, to the best of my ability, discharge the duties thereof, and preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of this State and of the United States. So help me God.” (Article III, Section 26, S.C. Constitution)
“We do solemnly swear that we will conduct this election according to law and will allow no person to vote who is not entitled by law to vote in this election, and we will not unlawfully assist any voter to prepare his ballot and will not advise any voter as to how he should vote at this election.” (SC Code §7-13-100)
Poll Manager Training
Poll managers must be trained prior to every election. Both online and in-person poll manager training is available. Clerks are required to take additional training. Your county board will direct you on what training you will be required to complete for each election.
Online training materials: