Beaufort Co. seeing record number of early voters, many first time voters

In-person early voting is another option election leaders are recommending to help avoid crowds...
In-person early voting is another option election leaders are recommending to help avoid crowds during the COVID-19 pandemic.(WTOC)
Updated: Oct. 27, 2020 at 4:07 PM EDT
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BEAUFORT COUNTY, S.C. (WTOC) - Voters in South Carolina have been able to vote in-person absentee since October 5. Since then we’ve seen a record number of people coming out and many are doing so for the first time.

Every single day since October 5 Beaufort County has had record numbers for in-person absentee voting. And the state says this year, South Carolina has seen more registered voters than ever.

Already this year absentee numbers have nearly doubled what the general action saw in 2016 and there are still six days to go. In 2016, 517,000 absentee ballots were issued for the general election. This year 1,021,000 were issued.

Local election officials say this trend is happening in the Lowcountry as well.

“I’m thinking it’s going to probably increase because we have an increase in new voters in this election," said Beaufort County Board of Voter Election Director Marie Smalls.

Lines in Beaufort County have been filled with voters waiting for hours to cast their ballot. And while some voters come out for every election, many of those are voting for the first time. Whether that’s young people who are eligible for the first time, or adults who decided to register for the first time in their life.

“I don’t really know really what it’s going to look like at all. But I am excited. I think it’s a big mile stone for me," said voter Hannah Morrissey.

The county saw over 20,000 new registered voters for this general election and election officials expect they will all get out and vote.

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