COVID-19 safety practices implemented at S.C. early voting locations

COVID-19 safety practices implemented at S.C. early voting locations

BEAUFORT COUNTY, S.C. (WTOC) - Early voting for the June 9 primary in South Carolina has already started and few people have taken advantage of their in-person absentee option.

The Beaufort office opened two weeks ago for early voting and have only seen 21 people; something the director says reflects how careful people are being during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Bluffton office opened Monday for early voting. They have already seen more than Beaufort has in two weeks. Which means those coming in have to be careful.

For the first time ever, voters have an option when they are coming in to make sure they are staying safe. They are not just touching the machine like they normally would, instead they are choosing between a cotton swab or a glove to make sure they are keeping contact to a minimum.

The offices have been stocked with hand sanitizers, cotton swabs, gloves, and social distancing guidelines that force voters and staff members to stay safe. Even the voting machines, typically clustered away from each other, have been moved so they said six feet apart.

Voters can even take the pen they’re given to fill out forms home to avoid spreading germs. The director says coming into a public place right now can be scary but wants to remind people they have other options.

“So, that’s a sign to me that people are being very cautious. And that’s OK. But voting is still available. So, if you are not comfortable coming into the office, please don’t forget to give us a call and request an absentee ballot by mail,” Beaufort Board of Voter Registration Director Marie Smalls said.

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