Explaining how SC’s new voting law will impact Horry County’s June primary

Published: May. 19, 2022 at 5:46 PM EDT
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HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) - For the first time in South Carolina, voters will have an early in-person voting option before the day of an election.

Gov. Henry McMaster signed the new changes into law on Friday, which will take effect in the upcoming June primaries.

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Horry County Election Director Sandy Martin explained that those changes mean early in-person voting would begin May 31, two weeks before the day of primary elections on June 14.

“Everyone’s really excited,” she said.

Martin also said her office is making sure everyone understands other changes, such as the new process of absentee voting.

“We’ve had people coming in all week trying to vote absentee, but we have to tell them it doesn’t open now until May 31,” she said.

In-Person absentee voting is no longer authorized by law, meaning all absentee voting is done by mail. You must also be qualified to vote absentee since early voting is available to all voters.

“Eventually I think this is going to be a really good thing,” said Martin.

Any voter can visit an early-voting location in their county during the week and vote like they would at their polling place on Election Day from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m.

However, early voting does not include June 4 or June 5.

Martin says she expects some voter confusion during the primary but believes the learning curve now will have them ready to roll by Election Day in November.

“We were kind of hoping it would not go into effect until November so we would have time to educate the public but sometimes it’s just easier to jump in so that’s exactly what we are doing,” said Martin.

According to the South Carolina State Election Commission, the old absentee application will continue to be accepted through May 31.

Starting in June, however, only new applications will be accepted. The deadline to return a new application is June 3.

While registration deadlines for the June primaries have passed, registration for November’s general election is open and will include the new changes.

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