Turnout high in first year of early voting in South Carolina
CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) — Just six days before primary election day, Charleston and Berkeley County have some of the highest turnouts in the state in the first year of early voting.
In both counties, people walked in and out voting by the minute. The Hanahan Library is one of three polling places in Berkeley County that is seeing a steady increase in voter numbers day after day.
“Berkeley County is getting a good percentage of early results,” said Doreen Thompson, one of the pollsters at the Hanahan Library. “I can’t say overall what the percentage is, but for this area we’re working in right now, we’re doing quite well.”
Records show that around 3 million people registered to vote in 2020, but only around 22% of those people voted.
Isaac Cramer, the director of the Charleston County Board of Elections, is one of the key people responsible for making this happen.
“With our equipment and our ballot managers and our training and recruiting, we expect a high turnout,” Cramer said. “The reality will probably be around 20%, but we’re expecting a high turnout if that happens, so voters aren’t waiting long to get to the polls.”
Currently, Charleston County has the fourth highest number of early voters in the state. In 2018, only 1,700 people voted in the first 30 days using in-person postal voting. This year the numbers doubled to 3,600 in the first six days using early voting.
“Our intention in every election is to find access for every voter,” Cramer said. “So Charleston, we have always led the state in the ballots leading up to Election Day. We were actually the model for this legislation with the off-site early voting locations, but with the tight time frame between the passing of the legislation and the start of early voting, we weren’t able to expand to multiple locations. across the county. But in November, we will have seven locations for early voting. So we expect this county to lead the state in early voting, as we have done in the past.
Cramer says if you haven’t voted yet, please visit scvotes.gov to find your polling location. He says he wants you to be better prepared on June 14th.
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