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Senators reviewing South Carolina elections praise 2020 vote

(Charlie Neibergall | AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Published: Mar. 26, 2021 at 9:34 AM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCSC/AP) - A group of South Carolina senators have started a review of the agency that runs elections with praise for how they handled voting during a pandemic in 2020.

A Senate Oversight subcommittee met Thursday, and South Carolina Election Commission Director Marci Andino said her agency in 2021 plans a software upgrade that will make the operation system for election computers more secure and change a confusing layout system.

The confusion may have caused an increase in straight ticket voting.

About 63% of all voters picked straight party in 2020, compared to 50 percent in the previous presidential election in 2016.

A record number of South Carolinians voted in the 2020 General Election, according to South Carolina Election Commission spokesman Chris Whitmire said back in November.

State election officials said the total voter turnout of 2.5 million was a new record, breaking the record of 2.1 million set in 2016. Of those 2.5 million, 53 percent voted absentee, which surpassed the previous record of 24 percent set in 2016.

The state’s voter turnout in 2020 was 72 percent, Whitmire said, the highest turnout percentage since 2008, when 76 percent turnout was reported. It was the second-highest turnout percentage in the last 25 years.

Copyright 2021 WCSC. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.