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Message from CEO Ivory Mathews

Columbia Housing Votes, aka CH Votes a non-partisan activity solely designed for the purposes of Voter Registration, Education and Mobilization for families served by Columbia Housing. Columbia Housing has actively engaged our residents in the voting process for decades. For us, CH Votes places a brand around what we have and will continue to do to engage our residents in exercising their civic duty of voting in all local, state and national elections. Voting is a vital part of our democracy and Columbia Housing will work to ensure all its families know their rights, make a plan, and exercise their right to vote in 2020 and beyond.

In the 2018 Mid-term Elections about 50% of registered South Carolinians went to the polls. Columbia Housing, like all of you, knows we can do better than that. Especially, if we all work together. So that's why the CH Votes Campaign is working to engage more people.

Finally, I'd like to especially thank our residents, staff, and community partners for all the special contributions to register, educate, and mobilize our residents to maximize voter participation for the November 3rd elections.

Message from CEO Ivory Mathews about importance of voting


Thank You to Newly Registered Voters!

Thank you message to newly registered voters

Thank you to all the new Voters that registered during
the past few months!

We appreciate your willingness to take part in your Democracy!

This publication is designed to help answer any questions you may have about the voting process, including; voting options, where to find information on candidates, and how stay up to date on important election news.



What's Your Voting Plan?


Photo showing options for voting. Absentee In Person. Absentee by Mail. In person on election day.


Beginning October 5, 2020, registered voters in SC can begin absentee voting in-person. Visit one of the locations below between now and Election Day to cast your vote!

Richland County Administration Building
2020 Hampton St., Columbia, SC 29204
Oct. 5, 2020 - Nov. 2, 2020
Monday through Friday, 8:30 am - 5:00 pm
Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020, 9:00 am - 1:00 pm
Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020, 9:00 am - 1:00 pm
Satureday, Oct. 31, 2020 9:00 am - 1:00 pm

Garners Ferry Adult Activity Center
8620 Garners Ferry Road, Hopkins, SC 29061
Oct. 7, 2020 - Nov. 2, 2020
Monday through Friday, 8:30 am - 5:00 pm

Adult Activity Center (Parklane)
7494 Parklane Road, Columbia, SC 29223
Oct. 7, 2020 - Nov. 2, 2020
Monday through Friday, 8:30 am - 5:00 pm

Ballentine Community Center
1009 Bickley Road, Irmo, SC 29063
Oct. 7, 2020 - Nove. 2, 2020
Monday through Friday, 8:30 am - 5:00 pm

North Springs Park Community Center
1320 Clemson Road, Columbia, SC 29229
Oct. 7, 2020 - Nov. 2, 2020
Monday through Friday, 8:30 am - 5:00 pm

Masonic Temple
2324 Gervais St., Columbia, SC 29204
Oct. 7, 2020 - Nov. 2, 2020
Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m.- 5:00 pm


If you do not wish to vote absentee in-person, you may vote absentee by mail by following the steps below. No return postage is needed but a witness signature is required.

Step 1: Get an absentee application in one of two ways:
1 -Online.
Go to to request an application. You must be able to print your application.
2 - Request an application from:
Richland County Elections & Voter Registration:
By phone:803-576-2240
By mail: PO Box 5330, Columbia, SC 29250 By email:
By fax (803-576-2249
You will be mailed an application.

Step 2: Return the absentee ballot application as soon as possible.
You may return the application by mail, email, fax, or personal delivery to the contact information listed above.

Step 3: Receive your absentee ballot in the mail.

Step 4: Vote the ballot following ballot instructions and return it to the county voter registration office in your county of residence by 7:00 p.m. on the day of the election.

You may return the ballot personally or by mail. You may also have another person return the ballot for you, but you must first complete an authorization to return absentee ballot form, available from your county voter registration office.



If you plan to vote in person on November 3, 2020, please follow safety protocols to limit the spread of possible exposure to COVID-19.

Practice healthy behaviors to protect yourself and slow the spread of COVID-19

Wash your hands before entering and after leaving the polling location.

While in the polling location, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol frequently, especially after touching surfaces frequently touched by multiple people, such as door handles or voting machines.

Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or the inside of your elbow. Throw used tissues in lined trash cans.

Wash your hands or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.

Wear a mask. Children under 2 and anyone who has trouble breathing, is incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance should not wear a mask.

Maintain at least 6 feet (about 2 arms' length) of distance from others. It is important to continue social distancing even when you and others are wearing masks.

Vote at off-peak times, such as mid-morning.

If driving to the polls and your schedule allows, monitor the voter line from your car and join it when it's shorter.



Did you know about


Description of things you can do on

Did you know you can do all of these things from SC

• Check Your Voter Registration
• Update Your Voter Registration
• Get Your Sample Ballot
• Find Your Polling Place
• Get Your Absentee Application
• Check Your Absentee Ballot
• Check Your Provisional Ballot
• Contact Your County Office

Frequently Asked Questions about Voting in SC

Q. Can anyone vote absentee in the 2020 General Election?

A. All voters are qualified to vote absentee in the 2020 General Election

Q. There is not enough time for me to comfortably return my absentee ballot by mail. What do I do?

A. You or an Authorized Returnee (complete Authorization to Return Absentee Ballot form included with ballot) can deliver your ballot to your county voter registration office by 7:00 p.m. on election day.

Q. Can I return my absentee ballot to my polling place on Election Day?

A. No. Poll managers cannot accept absentee ballots at polling places. Absentee ballots must be returned by mail or personal delivery to your county elections and registration office by 7:00 p.m. on election day.

Q. How can I check to see if my absentee application or ballot has been received?

A. Visit to check the status of your absentee request. You can also find the status by contacting your county elections office.

Q. What do I take with me to the polls to vote?

A. When voting in person, you will be asked to show one of the following Photo IDs:

• A valid SC Driver's License
• SC Department of Motor Vehicles ID Card
• SC Voter Registration Card with Photo
• US Passport
• Federal Military ID

How to Vote

Graphic of how to use the ballot machine on voting day

1. Insert Your Blank Ballot

After signing in, a poll worker will provide you with a blank ballot card and direct you to a ballot-marking device. Insert your ballot card into the ballot-marking device as instructed with the corner cut at the top right. If necessary, a poll worker will sect your ballot style before leaving you to vote in private.

2. Make Your Selections

Make your selections by touching the screen. Selections will be checked and highlighted. To case a write-in vote, touch WRITE IN. A touchscreen keyboard will appear. Type the candidates name and touch ACCEPT to continue voting.

Touch the ZOOM icon to make the ballot larger.

Touch the CONTRAST icon to change to high contrast white on black.

Touch NEXT to move to the next contest.

Touch PREVIOUS to return to a previous contest

3. Review & Print Your Ballot

After completing the last page, touch NEXT to review your selections. The review screen will notify you if you have not voted in a contest or selected fewer candidates than allowed. To change a selection touch the selection to return to that contest. When satisfied wit your selection, touch NEXT.

To print your ballot, press the PRINT CARD icon found at the bottom of the screen. Your printed ballot card will be returned to you from the slot on the front of the ballot-marking device.

4. Review & Cast Your Ballot

Review each selection on your ballot card. if you need to make changes, contact a poll manager for a replacement. When you are ready to cast your ballot, take your ballot cad to the scanner and insert it face down on the green arrow.

The scanner counts your vote and drops your paper ballot into a locked ballot box.




Know YOUR Candidates -

Know YOUR Candidates! logo


  • Dive into the background of every candidate and referendum on your personal ballot.
  • Compare candidates based on their stances on issues, biography, and endorsements and save your choices as you go.
  • Breeze through the ballot box by bringing BallotReady to the polls



COMET can get you to the Polls!

COMET is making it easy for CH residents to get to the polls!

All rides on COMET buses are still FREECheck for up to date route information.

Masks and social distancing are required to ride COMET.



Get Your CH Votes Buttons!


Show your commitment to vote on November 3, 2020!

Post a picture of yourself wearing your button between now and November 3, 2020 and we'll share it with our followers! Use #CHVotes to make sure we see it!


CH Votes button assortment


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We appreciate you taking the time to review this edition of The Housing Herald.

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