Record number of absentee ballots issued to voters for SC primary, state election commission says

Voters lined up outside the Richland County voter registration office.
Voters lined up outside the Richland County voter registration office.((Source: WIS))
Updated: Jun. 6, 2020 at 2:49 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - With the June 9 primary just days away, several voters have been working to ensure they’ll have a chance to vote.

According to the South Carolina State Elections Commission, 172,000 absentee ballots have been issued to voters across the state. That shatters the previous record for a statewide primary, which was 60,000.

Officials said 120,000 of those absentee ballots have already been returned. Also, 125,000 of the 172,000 absentee ballots issued are mail-in ballots.

“This is a lot of absentee by mail, which takes longer to process,” said Chris Whitmire of the S.C. State Elections Commission. “It may take longer on Election Night, and in some places, counting could continue into the next day. But hopefully, election officials can exceed expectations.”

Absentee ballots must be received at the voter registration office before 7 p.m. on Election day in order to be counted. Absentee ballots may also be returned to the voter registration office by the voter or an authorized returnee. Those who received absentee ballots also received authorized returnee forms in the mail with their ballots.

Absentee ballots may not be returned at polling places. Voters who were issued an absentee ballot will also not be allowed to vote at their assigned polling place.

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