CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Early voting for South Carolina’s June primaries begins Tuesday morning.
A bill signed into law by Gov. Henry McMaster established early in-person voting for not only the June primaries but future elections as well. The bill also restricted voting by mail.
The Charleston County Board of Elections and Voter Registration says a few benefits to early voting include accessibility and shorter lines, but these changes have some challenges.
Isaac Cramer, with the board of elections, says if this law didn’t change they couldn’t open and begin counting votes until 9 a.m. on election day. The change not only helps voters but the election staff as well.
The bill also brought changes to the rules for voting by mail.
Applications must be turned in 11 days before election day. Previously, the deadline was four days before.
Eligible voters will no longer get an application from SC Votes, they will need to contact their county’s board of elections office to be mailed an application or pick one up, but there are exceptions to who can vote by mail.
“That’s a determination in the law that if you can’t be present during the early voting period and on election day then you can vote absentee by mail and that’s folks that are going to be like caregivers, they are away, outside the county of residence,” Cramer said.
Early voting begins Tuesday and runs through June 10. Voting locations are open between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
For those concerned about the security of early voting, ballots will be stored in a secured ballot box and transferred to the main election office.
To find early voting locations in your county go to SCvotes.gov.
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