S.C. lawmakers vote to expand absentee voting for June primaries
Wednesday, May 13, 2020
COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - South Carolina lawmakers unanimously voted to expand absentee voting for the June primaries because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Senators and House members voted Tuesday afternoon to allow any South Carolinian to request an absentee ballot because of the coronavirus pandemic.
If the bill is signed into law, anyone can vote absentee, but they must request a ballot and give the coronavirus pandemic as a reason for voting absentee.
In South Carolina, absentee voters can send their ballot in by mail.
This bill, if signed into law, would only apply to the June primaries and run-offs.
Besides concerns about the coronavirus, there are more than a dozen other reasons someone can vote absentee in South Carolina, according to the State Election Commission’s website:
• Persons 65 years of age or older
• Persons who are physically disabled
• Persons attending sick or physically disabled persons
• Persons who for reasons of employment will not be able to vote on Election Day
• Persons who plan to be on vacation outside their county of residence on Election Day
• Overseas citizens
• Students attending school outside their county of residence and their spouses and dependents residing with them
• Government employees serving outside their county of residence on Election Day and their spouses and dependents residing with them
• Persons serving as a juror in state or federal court on Election Day
• Persons admitted to the hospital as emergency patients on Election Day or within a four-day period before the election
• Persons with a death or funeral in the family within three days before the election
• Persons confined to a jail or pre-trial facility pending disposition of arrest or trial
• Persons serving with the American Red Cross or with the United Service Organizations (USO) who are attached to and serving with the Armed Forces outside their county of residence and their spouses and dependents residing with them
• Certified poll watchers, poll managers, and county election officials working on Election Day
• Members of the Armed Forces or Merchant Marine serving outside their county of residence and their spouses and dependents residing with them
• Persons who for religious reasons do not want to vote on a Saturday (presidential primaries only)
County election officials previously said voting absentee by mail is one of the best ways to keep voters and poll workers safe.
The bill is now headed to the governor’s desk for his approval.