Absentee voting expanded in South Carolina due to Covid-19

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GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA)- Any registered voter in South Carolina can cast an absentee ballot this year due to Covid-19. Wednesday, Gov. McMaster signed a bill into law that expands absentee voting.

Conway Belangia, who is the director of election and voter registration in Greenville County, says he’s expecting to see a surge of absentee voting this November.

“We may get as many as 50 [or] 60,000 absentee ballots requests, which is about, you know, three times what we normally are used to,” Belangia said.

To get an absentee ballot, voters have to ask for one. They can do that by filling out a form online or contacting their county voter registration office. According to Belangia, ballots will start going out at the end of September and will need to be returned soon.

“The last time you ought to put a ballot in the mail to make sure it gets back to us is probably October 28,” Belangia said. “That’s on the Wednesday before the election on a Tuesday.”

Voters can also cast an absentee ballot in person.

“[That] means they come in, show their id…they sign their application, and they vote…and they leave,” Belangia said.

Belangia said Greenville County Square will be open for in-person absentee voting starting on October 5. Other locations will be available later in the month.

“We will have four satellite sites set up throughout the county that will be open roughly from October 12 through October 30, and those will be just like they would do here,” Belangia said.

Those who do request absentee mail in ballots will not be able to vote in person, too.

You can request an absentee ballot here.

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