HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) - Monday is the last day to vote absentee in-person before the 2020 general election Tuesday.
South Carolina Elections Commission spokesperson Chris Whitmire said it could be somewhere around half of South Carolinians voting before Election Day, but that number depends on how many actually vote on Tuesday.
As long as someone is a registered voter, they can come to any of the early voting locations.
Whitmire said there are about 60,000 early voters a day in South Carolina, and more people are coming each day. He noted that this results in about 1.2 million voters before the election, and he expects it to be over 1.3 million before Election Day.
Whitmire’s worked with the elections commission for nearly 16 years but said this year is different.
“We have never seen anything like this," Whitmire said. "The record for absentee voting was set in 2016 and that was just over 500,000 and we’ve more than doubled that. The previous record for by mail ballots we issued about 140,000 in 2016, and this year we’ve issued over 460,000 so there’s nothing about this election that’s like any other election I’ve seen.
Mail-in ballots must be delivered to the county registration office by 7 p.m. election night. Whitmire said there are no exceptions or even a post-mark exception like other states may have.
If someone still hasn’t sent their mail-in absentee ballot, they need to bring it in-person. There’s an option with this though. Whitmire said they can authorize another person to drop it off at the registration office. However, it cannot be dropped off at the polling location, it must be dropped off at the county registration office.
If someone is sick with COVID-19 and didn’t request a mail-in ballot it’s too late now, but there’s a curbside option for voting.
If someone has the virus or has possibly been exposed, they can get in the curbside line at a polling location, stay in their car, and poll managers will have them fill out a ballot with a Q-Tip.
“Bottom line is if voters diagnosed with COVID, they are still a voter who has a right to vote," Whitmire said. “There’s nothing that says they can’t so we have to be sure to accommodate those voters.”