Voters across South Carolina are still casting absentee ballots.
At this point 108,000 South Carolinians have at least started that absentee process. When we compare that number to years passed we see that we are ahead of what we saw in the last gubernatorial election in 2006 where about 65,000 people voted absentee.
Chris Whitmire with the South Carolina Election Commission says 108,000 have started the process, but 108,000 ballots have not been cast. However, he says normally when the process is started, the ballots are soon cast. Whitmire says the 2008 presidential election was a record turn-out for voters, as for this year’s mid-term elections–
It’s hard to say at this point because the 108,000 number is people who have at least requested an absentee ballot application. At this point we have about 55,000 ballots returned. We always expect high numbers, but I don’t have a sense of what we will see. If absentee ballots are any indication I would say that we would see an increase over 2006.
And, 2006 was a record low year for South Carolina voting.
Whitmire says not to get the terms “early voting” mixed up with “absentee” voting.
South Carolina doesn’t have early voting. That term is sort of used interchangeably with absentee voting, but there is a technical difference whereas early voting traditionally is a situation where anybody can vote early who wants to and they don’t have to provide a reason, it’s sort of a no excuse early voting. But, in South Carolina we have absentee voting.
Whitmire explains what absentee voting is:
You have to meet one of the 15 reasons outlined in state law to be able to cast an absentee ballot before election day. Some of those reasons are if you’re 65 years of age or older, if you’re going to be out of your county on election day, if you are going to be working during the hours the polls are open and you’re going to be unable to go to the polls, if you are disabled.
To find more of the reasons on how you can vote absentee log on to www.scvotes.org.