Only a few days left to vote absentee ahead of Saturday’s primary

With the Democratic presidential primary just days away, it's important to make sure you've turned in your absentee vote if you're not voting at the polls on Saturday.

Columbia, S.C. (WOLO) — With the Democratic presidential primary just days away, it’s important to make sure you’ve turned in your absentee vote if you’re not voting at the polls on Saturday.

At this point, if you’re voting absentee, it’s best to take it directly to your county voter registration and elections office. If your ballot is not in by 7 Saturday night, it isn’t going to count.

“You got to get it back to the voter registration office, it has to get back there by 7 p.m., and with so few days between now and Saturday, the best way to do that is to take it yourself,” said Chris Whitmire, spokesperson with the South Carolina State Elections Commission.

There’s been thousands of absentee ballots already returned in the state, and about 6,000 more were issued this year than in years past.

“At this point, there’s been about 40,000 absentee ballots issued. About 31,000 of those have been returned,” said Whitmire. “When we look back at past primaries, when you look back at 2016 at the same point in the process, Democratic ballots in 16, of course there were two primaries going on in 16, but for the Democratic primary only about 34,000 had been issued.”

But this year, there’s only one presidential primary as opposed to two. Every registered voter in the state is eligible to vote this Saturday.

“We have open primaries. So voters in primaries can choose whether to vote in one party’s primary or the other, can’t vote in two on the same day but this year we’re only having one. This primary is open to every registered voter in the state,” said Whitmire.

Voters will also see 12 candidates on the ballot, but five have withdrawn since the absentee ballots were finalized.

“We’ll count the ballots as they’re voted, and report those results on Election Night. So in election results, you’ll see 12 candidates and everybody will know how many votes the withdrawn candidate’s receiving,” said Whitmire.

There’s still a few days left to vote absentee if you are eligible. Here is a list of requirements to vote absentee in the state.

Make sure to double check your polling location before heading out to the polls on Saturday at SCVotes.org.

Polls are open from 7 a.m until 7 p.m. this Saturday, Feb. 29. You must bring your valid ID with you.

Categories: Local News, News, Politics, State