Governor Signs Absentee Voting Expansion

The SC legislature convened this month and among other actions being considered, they passed a bill that includes an expansion of the absentee voting criteria. As in the June primary, any voter can request an absentee ballot or vote early in person for the November, 2020 election without specifying one of the usual 17 permitted excuses. For paper ballots returned by mail or in person, a witness signature is still required. That requirement was waived in June by a federal judge. A similar case is still in process for November, but has not yet been decided.

The bill also permits election offices to begin opening absentee ballot envelopes on November 1, which should help speed counting. The South Carolina Association of Registration and Election Officials (SCARE) had also proposed expanded use of drop boxes, but that proposal was not included in the bill.

For information on absentee voting, visit

Published by Matthew Saltzman, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences, Clemson University. President, the COIN-OR Foundation, Inc. Director for Redistricting, League of Women Voters of South Carolina

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