All voters can now vote absentee this June

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From staff reports

Every voter in South Carolina is now qualified to vote absentee in the June primaries and runoffs. Governor McMaster May 13 signed into law legislation passed the day before by the General Assembly that authorizes any voter to vote absentee in any election in June 2020. The provision expires on July 1, 2020 and does not apply to any elections after that date.

“This action by the General Assembly and Governor McMaster, which we greatly appreciate, will go a long way in protecting the health and safety of every South Carolinian,” Executive Director of the S.C. State Election Commission Marci Andino said in a release. “All voters now have a safe alternative to voting at their polling place in June.”

All voters now have two options to exercise their right to vote in the 2020 Statewide Primaries and Runoffs: vote absentee or vote on Election Day.

Vote absentee

Any voter can now select Reason 18 – State of Emergency on the absentee application.

If voting absentee by mail, get your application now and return it as soon as possible. Once you receive your ballot, vote the ballot, and return it as soon as possible.

If voting absentee in person, visit your county voter registration office or a satellite absentee location. Bring your Photo ID if you have one.

Vote on Election Day

Election officials are taking steps to protect the health of voters and poll managers. Poll managers will receive special Covid-19 training on applying social distancing and maintaining sanitary conditions in the polling place. Election officials are working to source: masks, face shields and gloves for poll managers; sneeze guards for check-in stations; sanitizing wipes for cleaning common surfaces; hand sanitizer for voters and poll managers; cotton swabs for making selections on the touchscreen. Check-in stations and voting equipment will be spaced at least 6 feet apart.

Some polling places will be relocated or consolidated due to the pandemic. Some facilities have declined to be used, and some poll managers have declined to serve. Election officials are working to find new locations and recruit new managers; however, some voters will vote at a different polling place.

Voters should prepare by making sure your address is up to date.

Check your registration.

Update your address.

Bring your Photo ID (or voter registration card if you do not have a Photo ID).

Check your polling place at scVOTES.org before going to the polls.

Wear a protective mask if you have one.

Bring your own pen for signing the poll list.

Practice social distancing by spacing yourself at least 6 feet apart from others.

Be patient. We are all in this together.