The South Carolina State Senate is made up of 46 members, each elected from single-member districts for four-year terms at the same time as United States Presidential elections. The General Assembly’s annual session begins on the second Tuesday in January and runs through the second Thursday in May.
Candidates must be 25 years of age at the time of the election, a registered voter, and a legal resident of the district at the time of filing.
Elections for the South Carolina Senate are partisan, and candidates seeking a political party’s nomination to run in a general or special election must file a Statement of Intention of Candidacy/Party Pledge Form (SICPP) with the State Election Commission or County Board in candidate’s county of residence during the appropriate filing period.
Filing fees are paid by candidates seeking the nomination of a party that nominates by primary (Democratic and Republican parties). The fees are paid at the time the candidate files for office. The filing fee for each office is one percent of the total salary for the term of that office or one hundred dollars, whichever amount is greater. Filing fees are determined using the base salary for the office in January of each election year. Currently, the salary is $10,400 per year, and the filing fee is $416.
Candidates filing with parties that nominate by convention do not pay a filing fee.
General Election candidates must file between noon, March 16, and noon, March 30, of the general election year. If March 30 is a Saturday or Sunday, the filing period is extended to noon on the next day that is not a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday. Filing for special elections opens at noon on the third Friday following the date of vacancy and closes at noon, ten days later (Monday).