More than 100,000 have already voted ahead of S.C. primary
COLUMBIA, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - South Carolinians will head to the polls Tuesday to vote in primary elections for governor, superintendent of education, seats in Congress and the General Assembly.
But more than 100,000 South Carolinians have already cast their ballots in the first early voting period under a new state election law.
That change in law now gives South Carolinians the option to vote early, in-person in statewide elections without needing an excuse to do so, like they previously did.
With the governor signing that law just over two weeks before early voting started – the State Election Commission says it didn’t know what to expect this first time around.
“We were concerned about getting out the word and making sure everybody knew about it, being able to conduct early voting at all,” said Chris Whitmire, deputy executive director of the commission. “We had to get a lot of work done in those two weeks, which we did, and I would call it an unequivocal success.”
The number of South Carolinians casting their ballots in person increased every day of the statewide early voting period – with the number of people voting on the last day more than triple the first day.
“It’s a combination of people were learning about it, and interest increases the closer you get to Election Day,” Whitmire said.
He says it’s hard to compare this year’s early, in-person voting turnout of around 100-thousand people to numbers from previous years.
2018 was the last midterm election and the last time South Carolinians voted for governor.
But early voting was more restrictive then – because people needed a reason to cast their ballots in person before Election Day.
“You can’t compare it to 2020, either,” he said. “It has the pandemic layered on top of it that changed out how people do things.”
If you vote
For people planning to vote Tuesday, polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. statewide.
As long as you’re in line by 7 p.m., you can vote. You’ll need to bring their photo ID or voter registration card.
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