The Senate returned to Columbia earlier today and made changes that I feel confident the House will support when we return to Columbia later this month.
Bottom line: like we did for the June primaries, voters may use an 18th reason to vote absentee for the November elections. That reason will be “Covid-19”.
I have heard that 43% of voters plan to vote absentee this fall.
Who Can Vote Absentee in SC
*Members of the Armed Forces
*Members of the Merchant Marine
*Spouses and dependents residing with members of the Armed Forces or Merchant Marine
*Persons serving with the American Red Cross or with the United Service Organizations (USO) who are attached to and serving with the Armed Forces outside their county of residence and their spouses and dependents residing with them
*Citizens residing overseas
*Persons who are physically disabled (includes illnesses and injuries)
*Students attending school outside their county of residence and their spouses and dependents residing with them
*Persons who for reasons of employment will not be able to vote on election day
*Government employees serving outside their county of residence on Election Day and their spouses and dependents residing with them
*Persons who plan to be on vacation outside their county of residence on Election Day
*Persons serving as a juror in state or federal court on Election Day
*Persons admitted to the hospital as emergency patients on Election Day or within a four-day period before the election
*Persons with a death or funeral in the family within three days before the election
*Persons confined to a jail or pre-trial facility pending disposition of arrest or trial
*Persons attending sick or physically disabled persons
*Certified poll watchers, poll managers, and county election officials working on Election Day
*Persons sixty-five years of age or older
*Persons who for religious reasons do not want to vote on a Saturday (Presidential Primaries Only)
COLUMBIA — All South Carolina voters will likely be able to cast absentee ballots in the November general election after the state Senate approved the change Wednesday due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, sending the measure over to the House, which will take it up later this month.
But the Senate’s Republican majority declined to make several other changes recommended by state and county election officials, including eliminating a requirement that absentee ballots be signed by a witness in addition to the voter, allowing voters to apply for absentee ballots online and letting voters submit their ballots through drop boxes.
Republicans cited concerns about potential voter fraud in declining to make those changes, but Democrats alleged that was a manufactured excuse to make it more difficult for South Carolinians to vote during a public health crisis.