Absentee voting begins Monday for some S.C. counties

Published: May. 13, 2022 at 6:37 AM EDT
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BEAUFORT COUNTY, S.C. (WTOC) -In South Carolina there is not an early voting period, but you are allowed to vote absentee ahead of Election Day, either by mail or in person.

Starting on Monday they are preparing to offer absentee voting at their offices before the June 14 primary. The absentee voting process begins for some counties – including Beaufort.

Their three offices in Bluffton, Beaufort and on Hilton Head will offer absentee voting in person starting on Monday.

You still need an excuse to vote absentee in South Carolina – there are 17 different reasons that include everything from you will be on vacation during the election, your work schedule interferes, or you are over the age of 65.

If you have one of the excuses, then you can vote absentee by mail or in-person at one of their three locations.

“I’m always ready for every election and we are excited for it, we are excited to see all the voters come out and participate and I encourage everybody to come out and exercise your right to vote no matter which platform you choose,” said Vernon Kemp with the Beaufort County Elections office.

If you plan to vote by mail, they recommend getting that process started now – you can call, email or stop by the office to fill out an application. Then they will mail you your absentee ballot. They are starting to mail out the first ones next week.

However, those plans could change because of a new early voting bill passed by the house and the senate and now making it’s way to the governor’s desk.

If Governor McMaster signs it into law, South Carolina would officially have Early Voting for the first time and you would not need an excuse to cast your ballot ahead of Election Day like you do currently in the Palmetto State.

Ahead of South Carolina’s Primary is Georgia’s, and that means early voting is already underway in the Peach State. They have seen record numbers – hitting three times what they saw in the primary in 2018.

Keeping that in mind, the Beaufort Elections Office is ready for anything that comes their way this election cycle, including big voter turnout.

“It could be, I think we could see a bigger race with some of the governor and the superintendent of education, they have the most candidates on both sides so we will see how it plays out,” Kemp said.

Right now, it really is a wait and see game for them because if Governor McMaster signs the early voting bill, we would see some immediate changes to the process for this primary election.

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