S.C.'s "early" absentee voting totals will get close to doubling 2014 midterm figures

That's 112,000 more early voters than the state saw in 2014

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SAM SPENCE FILE PHOTO
  • Sam Spence file photo
As of Monday afternoon, 16 hours before Election Day officially begins, close to 263,000 people have already voted in South Carolina, far exceeding the total turnout before the 2014 midterm election.

The State Election Commission has issued 290,657 absentee ballots and received 269,022 back, according to numbers reported as of 3 p.m.

By contrast, approximately 157,000 absentee ballots were cast in the 2014 midterm election. That means this year's absentee vote count exceeds that of 2014 by more than 112,000 ballots so far.

More than 70 percent of ballots have been issued in person. About 28 percent, or 80,650, were issued by mail. The numbers account for absentee ballots submitted in person, by mail, or by email or fax. The last two options are only available to overseas citizens or members of the military.



Voters must request and complete an absentee application before they are issued an absentee ballot, though the process can also be completed in one fell swoop at county election offices.

"In-person absentee" voting allows pretty much anyone who can't make it to the polls for one of 16 official reasons — including work, disability, age, or an out of town conflict — to cast a ballot early in person.

Voters have until 5 p.m. on Monday to vote in-person absentee at county election offices (4367 Headquarters Rd., N Chs.) or three other satellite locations set up throughout the county.

Voters must be registered to vote in South Carolina and show valid photo I.D., which can be anything from a S.C. driver's license to a federal military ID or a U.S. passport, at their polling places. You can find your polling place at scvotes.org.

Polls will be open on Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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