Gov. McMaster: ‘No reason to change’ S.C. absentee voting system

Updated: Nov. 9, 2020 at 9:21 PM EST
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EFFINGHAM, S.C. (WMBF) - On Monday afternoon, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster said he would not approve a change to allow early voting in the state.

Restrictions on absentee voting were loosened in S.C. due to the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in more than 890,000 absentee ballots cast in person for the 2020 general election statewide.

With more than half of the state’s absentee voting taking place in person, voters WMBF News spoke with and the State Election Commission approve of expanding absentee voting beyond this election.

“It tends to be a partisan issue, and the State Election Commission doesn’t see it as that," said South Carolina State Election Commission spokesperson Chris Whitmire. "We see it as a voter issue. It really would help all South Carolinians of all parties, all stripes to be able to vote in elections. We think that’s a good thing.”

Absentee and mail-in voting became an inflection point in last week’s presidential election, with President Donald Trump taking an early lead with in-person votes before President-elect Joe Biden benefited from a strong showing in mail-in and absentee voting nationwide.

At a press conference in Effingham, McMaster said he “sees no reason to change."

“Our history shows with a lack of voter fraud and with good counting over the years I think the system we have in place is a good one,” McMaster said.

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