Lowcountry seeing high turnout for early in-person, absentee voting

Lowcountry seeing high turnout for early in-person, absentee voting

BEAUFORT COUNTY, S.C. (WTOC) - The Lowcountry is breaking early voting records.

Almost a million absentee ballots have been issued in South Carolina. That’s double the amount in 2016.

Still, many polling locations have long lines of voters choosing to vote in-person.

Normally if you’re planning on spending your day waiting in lines it’s because you’re somewhere like Disney World. These days, it’s because you were going to vote.

“I think that even though it’s a really long line it’s really, really, really important to make sure that you vote because it really does matter," said voter Morgan Morrissey.

The line at the Beaufort County Voter Registration Office wrapped around the building Monday.

“I even canceled my appointment to stay here another four hours if it has to be," said one voter.

Creating yet another day of record numbers.

“From the time we open for in-person absentee voting we have seen a record number of people of turn out every day," said Marie Smalls, Beaufort County Board of Voter Registration Director.

The lines, while longer than normal, aren’t as bad as they seem according to the voter registration director. They have eight machines running at the Beaufort office – they just can’t let people in.

“Because we have limited space we can only allow a certain amount of folks in the building at a time.”

As of 12 p.m. Monday, 40,000 absentee ballots have been returned. But they expect more.

“Even on Election Day we are expecting a large turn out.”

That 40,000 is only a third of the registered voters. They are still expecting at least another 70,000 voters to come out.

“We have 135,000 plus voters in this county. I’m thinking almost all of them are going to try and vote. So we are going to get a good turn out. At least 80 percent.”

And they say they are ready.

“Poll workers are ready to work next Tuesday we’ve been training. We have had hands-on training.”

And anyone planning on voting on Election Day should come prepared to wait.

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