SC Senate OKs no-excuse absentee voting; rejects drop boxes


South Carolina Sen. Mia McLeod asks her fellow senators to allow as much flexibility as possible because of the COVID-19 pandemic for voting in the November election during a special session on Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020, in Columbia, S.C. The Democrat from Columbia has a compromised immune system and told senators they could be making life or death decisions. (AP Photo / Jeffrey Collins)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The South Carolina Senate has agreed to extend absentee voting to everyone for November’s election because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

But Republican senators rejected proposals by Democrats to allow voters to put their ballots into drop boxes or expand early voting.

The bill passed Wednesday now goes to the House, which plans to take it up in a special session starting Sept. 15.

The rules don’t go as far as state election officials and Democrats wanted.

But Republicans say they were trying to balance voter safety with preventing voter fraud.

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