HORRY COUNTY, SC (WBTW) – Horry County ranks 4th in the state for the highest amount of registered voters, but only has one in-person absentee voting location.
The state elections office says they’ve encouraged the county to add several absentee satellite locations for November’s general election.
“The way this county’s growing, we’ve been talking for a long time about making alternate sites for absentee voting,” said Sandy Martin, director of the county’s voter registration and election office.
Around 10,000 people in the county voted absentee during June’s primary elections, however, absentee voting was open to all registered voters.
Martin says around 7,000 absentee ballot requests have been made for the general election, but the “no excuse” option has not been made available for all registered voters.
At least two additional absentee satellite locations will be open in November, but locations are yet to be determined.
“Maybe one on the north end, one of the south end, and maybe on at Carolina Forest. Then we will have one at this office as well,” said Martin.
Relieving a lengthy drive for hundreds of voters.
“We normally see a lot of in-person voting so if we had alternate sites it would take a lot of workload off of this office and it would be more convenient for voters to vote in person,” said Martin.
The biggest challenge the county will face is if polling locations decide to cancel commitments as precincts.
In June around 20 polling places were combined after volunteer sites backed out.
Martin says around 80 percent of registered voters participate in general elections compared to around 10 percent who participate in primary elections.
“Which means there’s going to be a lot of people at the polls. If we don’t have enough man power there to staff it, it causes a backlog,” said Martin.
In-person absentee voting may help relieve long lines on the day of the election and would help even the workload for poll workers.
“We’re just going to encourage people to vote absentee if at all possible, especially if you’re over 65 absolutely vote absentee either by in-person or by mail,” said Martin.
Stay with News13 as we learn the details of the additional absentee voting locations.