CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - South Carolina saw a spike in the number of people who registered to vote ahead of the midterm election compared to prior midterm elections, according to new numbers from the South Carolina State Election Commission.
Looking at the last four months leading up to the deadline to register to vote, 90,844 people registered this year compared to only 42,878 during nearly the same period in 2014.
Officials from the Election Commission said there could be many reasons for the spike in registered voters.
“Facebook does a major push that puts reminders to register in everyone’s news feed,” South Carolina State Election Commission representative Chris Whitmire said. “Twitter, Uber and other apps and organizations have similar outreach efforts. This was not happening in 2014.”
The commission also mailed about 950,000 unregistered voters in early October, which could have also had an impact.
In total, there are 276,203 registered voters in Charleston County, which makes Charleston the county with the second-highest number of registered voters in the state.
“It is a good sign that we’re seeing more, and in Charleston County we always want to have the most registered voters possible,” Director of Elections for Charleston County Joseph Debney said.
Numbers from the South Carolina State Election Commission show more than 100,000 people are registered to vote in Dorchester County, and more than 123,000 people are registered to vote in Berkeley County.
Greenville County has 312,218 people who are registered to vote.
“We need to have more folks stepping up, making their voice heard and stepping out for issues that are certainly important for everyone,” absentee voter Elijah Roberts said.
Debney said the spike in registered voters is promising, but that South Carolina still faces a problem with political engagement.
“What we see in Charleston County is our number of registered voters continue to grow, but we don’t see that same turnout growth,” Debney said. “Don’t just register to vote. That’s only part of what we’re doing. We need to make sure we’re also going out and voting.”
There are three locations open now for absentee voting in Charleston County:
- Royal Baptist Church, 4761 Luella Ave, North Charleston, SC 29405
- Seacoast Church: West Ashley Campus, 2049 Savannah Hwy, Charleston, SC 29407
- Seacoast Church: Mount Pleasant Campus, 750 Long Point Rd, Mt Pleasant, SC 29464
Debney said the absentee voting locations saw a high volume of voters on Monday.
“We’re looking at about 1,200 to 1,250 absentee voters who have voted between the three different locations,” Debney said.
All locations will be open for voters on Monday – Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.