What is a Runoff Election?

Updated: Dec 14, 2021

They are common in many states. Keep reading to learn more!






Here's a definition:


"A runoff election is a second election. It is held if the top vote-getting candidate in a first election – a primary or a general election – did not achieve the minimum percentage of votes required in that state." (FindLaw)

Do Runoff Elections Occur in South Carolina?

Yes they do! South Carolina uses runoff elections in primary elections. When voting in primary elections, the winning candidate for each primary must have received over 50% of the votes.


The threshold does not always have to be a majority (over 50%)...


While South Carolina has a majority threshold, some states have a threshold lower than over 50%. For example, North Carolina has a threshold of 30%, meaning that a candidate with the most votes must have at least 30% of the votes. This type of threshold is called a plurality threshold.