HORRY COUNTY S.C. (WBTW) — A bill to expand early voting in South Carolina appears to have failed in the state legislature.

That means absentee voting will return to normal this election season. In 2020, the Gov. Henry McMaster temporarily expanded early voting to all voters, due to the pandemic.

The Horry County registration elections director said doing that made counting votes on election day a breeze.

Because of the governors’ temporary expansion of early voting in 2020, more than 100,000 people voted early in Horry County. Only 78,000 voted on election day.

“As we saw in 2020, people want to be able to vote early and it makes it a lot easier on us come Election Day,” said Sandy Martin, Horry County Registration Elections director.

Voters must qualify to vote absentee.

“It’s reasons such as being on vacation, working the hours that the polls are open, being over 65, disability, military, that sort of thing,” Martin said.

During the 2020 November election, Horry County had three places for absentee voting. This year for the primaries, all absentee voting will take place at the Horry County Voters Registration and Elections office.

Voters will have to choose which party they’ll vote in. Martin said because of that, primary elections typically have lower turnouts.

“In all reality, the primary is the most important election because you know that’s when a lot of the races are determined because the candidates don’t have any opposition in November,” Martin said.

Absentee voting starts 30 days prior to the election, and is open up until the Monday before. The deadline for mail-in ballots is the Friday before.

The statewide primary election is June 14. The runoff for the primaries will be on June 28.