Civic Engagement

Civic Engagement at USC Upstate supports and extends the efforts of the Office of Service Learning and Community Engagement by promoting non-partisan awareness of, and involvement in, multiple aspects of the electoral process, primarily for students, but tangentially including faculty, staff, and the greater community.

Three primary goals for Civic Engagement are:

  • Raising awareness of the importance of our democratic process
  • Assisting with voter registration and motivation to be involved in elections
  • Educating our community concerning issues and candidates at both local and national levels

     

South Carolina Civic Health Index

This report offers the first comprehensive assessment of civic health in the state of South Carolina. Civic health is determined by analyzing a series of indicators that measure political participation, community involvement, and neighborhood engagement. The findings show that South Carolinians vote at surprisingly high rates, frequently discuss politics with friends and family, participate heavily in community groups- particularly religious organizations, and regularly talk with neighbors.

The South Carolina Civic Health Index concludes with four “Visions for Action” designed to improve civic health for all residents or targeted groups. Any specific idea, however, must be created and vetted by the people of the state. Therefore, each vision is accompanied with discussion questions that can aid in the development of plans to build a more participatory and engaged South Carolina.

Download the full reportDownload PDF

South Carolina Civic Health Index in the News

National Study of Learning, Voting and Engagement

USC Upstate is one of about 1,000 colleges and universities that participate in the National Study of Learning, Voting and Engagement (NSLVE). The study is conducted by the Institute for Democracy and Higher Education at the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life at Tufts University.

The attached report provides USC Upstate's student voting rates for the 2012, 2014, and 2016 national elections. The data are broken down by characteristics such as age and field of study. In the 2012 election, USC Upstate students voted at a much higher rate than their peers across the country and, as seen in the report for 2016, a higher percentage of students registered and voted in 2016 than in 2012. 

Download the 2016 report Download PDF

Download the 2012/2014 report Download PDF 

Voting FAQ

I need to register for the first time. Where do I go?

For South Carolina residents: visit www.scvotes.org, select voters and register to vote. Follow the instructions on the website to complete your voter registration.

For out-of-state residents: visit www.usa.gov/register-to-vote for more information on how to register to vote in your state.

I live on campus and am not from Spartanburg, can I register to vote using my on-campus address?

Yes! When filling out the voter registration application, use the following address: 470 Hodge Drive, PMB # (enter actual number) Spartanburg, SC 29303.

I have moved since the last time I registered. How do I change my registration?

For South Carolina residents: visit www.scvotes.org, select voters and register to vote. Follow the instructions on the website to complete your voter registration.

Make sure you have updated your information with the SC DMV prior to updating your voter registration information.

For out-of-state residents: visit www.usa.gov/register-to-vote for more information on how to register to vote in your state.

I need a paper copy of the voter registration form. Where can I find one?

Paper copies of the SC and National voter registration forms can be obtained from the Office of Service-Learning and Community Engagement, CLC 202.

How do I check my voter registration status and find my polling location?

For South Carolina Residents: visit www.scvotes.org, select voter and check your voter registration.

For out-of-state residents, visit www.usa.gov/register-to-vote#item-212825 to find a list of state or local elections offices to verify your registration status.

Who is eligible to vote by absentee ballot?

For South Carolina Residents: visit www.scvotes.org, select voters and absentee voting for a list of who is eligible and instructions for requesting and submitting absentee ballots.

For Out-of-State Residents, visit www.usa.gov/register-to-vote#item-37337 for information regarding absentee voting in your state.

How do I request an absentee ballot?

For voters registered in South Carolina:
In person (deadline: November 7, 2016 at 5 p.m.)
Visit the county voter registration office in your county of residence, complete an application, and cast your ballot.

By mail (deadline: November 4, 2016)
Visit www.scvotes.org, select voters and absentee voting. Click on the “Get the application online” link.

For individuals registered in a state other than South Carolina:
Visit www.usa.gov/register-to-vote#item-37337 for more information about requesting absentee ballots for your state.