Early voting starts Tuesday in S.C.

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Published: May. 31, 2022 at 5:04 AM EDT
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BEAUFORT COUNTY, S.C. (WTOC) - We continue to cover the 2022 election cycle and Tuesday is historic for elections in South Carolina.

Starting Tuesday, South Carolina voters will be able to take part in the early voting process ahead of Election Day for the first time.

Just have your ID ready because you no longer need an excuse to vote early starting Tuesday morning. Anybody can come early to vote at one of four locations in Beaufort County.

Board of Voter Registration and Elections in Beaufort, the Bluffton Recreation Center, the Hilton Head Government Complex and the St. Helena Branch Library.

All four of those locations will be open Tuesday through June 10, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday through Friday and closed on the weekend.

The Beaufort County Board of Elections Office has to do some stuff differently on their end to accommodate the new early voting change, but voters will not notice any changes in the early voting period from what they are used to when voting on Election Day.

“The early voting process is similar to the process that is used on election day, a voter will come in and present their ID, verify the address and then they will be allowed to sign an oath and cast their ballot,” said Marie Smalls, Beaufort County Board of Voter Registrations and Elections Director.

Since this is the very first time voting ahead of Election Day is open to all registered voters in South Carolina, the Beaufort County Board of Voter Registration and Elections says they are prepared for whatever kind of turnout they get.

“We’re hoping people take advantage of it, I’m hoping that it is a good turnout, it’s not a presidential election going on but there are some hot races on the ballot so I am thinking people are going to want to participate even if they do it early or on election day,” Smalls said.

The early voting replaces the state’s former in person absentee process, however the absentee by mail process is still the same – you do need to fill out an application and then once approved, they will mail you your absentee ballot. The deadline to request that application is this Friday.

There is a lot on the ballot this primary, including some state races including governor, State Superintendent of Education and several state house races. Locally, Beaufort County will vote for county sheriff and several county council districts.

Don’t forget the primary election in South Carolina is on June 14, but if you want to cast your ballot early, anyone can do that starting at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday for the first time in the history of South Carolina.

You can find early voting polling locations here. You can check your sample ballot here.

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