SC likely to set record for mailed absentee ballots

State - Regional

A roll of voting stickers sits on a table as people arrive to vote in the Democratic primary in Hopkins, S.C., Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina’s decision to allow absentee voting by mail for anyone in next month’s primaries because of the coronavirus could mean a long night waiting for results.

With more than two weeks to go before the primaries, officials say the state had already mailed out 72,000 absentee ballots, which take longer to process and count than in-person votes at the polls.

The record for mailed-in ballots is 140,000 in the 2016 presidential election, which had about five times as many votes as the typical turnout for the June primaries. About 160,000 voters have requested applications for absentee ballots for the June 9 primaries.

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