Florence County sees high turnout so far as SC has record absentee voting

Pee Dee

FLORENCE COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — As South Carolina breaks absentee-voting records, many in Florence County are getting to the polls ahead of election day.

“Avoid the rush at the end,” Peggy Swearingen said as she finished casting her ballot Tuesday. “As I figure it’s going to be very busy on election day.”

Any registered voter can vote absentee in South Carolina because of COVID.

As of 5 p.m. Tuesday, over 600,000 absentee ballots had been returned statewide, with 790,000 absentee ballots issued. Those figures include both by mail and in-person

During the 2016 general election, there were 503,000 total absentee ballots returned.

By around 3 p.m. Tuesday, over 17,000 absentee ballots had been issued in Florence County.

“Turnout is the most I’ve ever seen for a presidential election, as I would’ve expected it to be,” Florence County Board of Voter Registration and Elections Director David Alford said. “I don’t think COVID’s going to prevent too many people from voting on way or another.”

A line of voters was wrapped around the county elections office for much of the day Tuesday, as it had been frequently since in-person absentee voting began in SC Oct. 5.

“It was a lot quicker than I thought it was going to be,” voter Trey Woodberry said. “It took me about 30-45 minutes probably. But it moved really quick.”

Absentee in-person voting ends at 5 p.m. Nov. 2. Applications for absentee-by-mail ballots must be received by 5 p.m. Oct. 24. More information about absentee voting in SC may be found here.

The Florence County Voter Registration and Elections office is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 through 5. It will be open the Saturday before the election from 9 to 1.

Satellite locations where people can vote ahead of election day will be open in Florence County from Oct. 26 to Oct. 30. They will be at Florence County library branches in Johnsonville, Pamlico, Timmonsville and Lake City.

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