2012 Election Snapshot: South Carolina

2012 Election Snapshots

Over the past several months, Pew collected data about the 2012 presidential election from nearly every state and the District of Columbia. We used the findings to create a snapshot of each jurisdiction, focusing on how many people voted, how long they waited to cast their ballots, how they cast them, and how many ballots were not counted. These snapshots will be released over the coming months, five at a time, and the Election Data Dispatches will take a closer look at the latest snapshots each week.

2012 Election Snapshot—South Carolina

In 2012, the average South Carolina voter waited 25 minutes to cast a ballot, according to the Snapshots_genericSurvey of the Performance of American Elections. This was the fourth-longest wait time in the country behind Florida, the District of Columbia, and Maryland, but it was shorter than in 2008, when South Carolina’s average wait time was 58 minutes, the longest in the country.

The survey also asks respondents why they decided not to vote. In South Carolina, long waits are a frequently cited reason:

  • In 2008, 49 percent of respondents said that long lines were a factor in their decision not to vote.
  • In 2012, that figure declined to 37.9 percent. 

The 2012 election was the first in which South Carolina voters could use online voter registration. In the five days that online registration was available, about 17,000 South Carolinians registered to vote, and 8,000 updated their registrations.

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