BEAUFORT, S.C. (WTOC) -The candidates on the ballot aren’t the only difference between this presidential election and last.
“On election day we think it’s going to be a pretty heavy turn out," said Marie Smalls, Director for the Board of Voter Registration and Elections of Beaufort County.
A heavy turn out is expected in this year’s election partially due to how many voters are registering either for the first time or once again. Leaders are still expecting a high turnout from their largest voting block: white women over the age of 65.
“But there have been a few things that have happened of late that have increased and decreased the numbers,” said Smalls.
Voter registration has seen an increase since the 2016 presidential election. In the Coastal Empire. In South Carolina, voter registration saw a nearly 9% increase.
Election officials say increased registration may be due to the anticipation of a presidential race.
“The November 2020 election is going to be very high profile,” says McRae. "Very highly anticipated. "
Additionally, voter increase could be due to organizations everywhere are encouraging voter registration.
“We are out there recruiting people to register, there are a lot of organizations that are out there encouraging people to register to vote,” said McRae.
That increase was felt locally. In Chatham County, voter registration saw a 35 percent increase, while in Beaufort, voter registration saw a 21 percent increase.
“This year there have been a lot of folks who are coming in and registering for the first time,” McRae said.
Election officials want to remind every voter if you are planning on voting in November, you should check your registration status ahead of time
“Thankfully we still have plenty of time for anybody that needs to update their registration or actually register.”