Law signed letting all vote absentee in SC’s June primaries

May 13, 2020 GMT

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Gov. Henry McMaster signed into law Wednesday a bill allowing anyone to vote absentee in next month’s statewide primary and runoffs.

Both the House and Senate passed the proposal Tuesday overcoming several roadblocks to assure no one has to vote in person for the June 9 primaries because of the coronavirus.

The narrowly tailored law only applies to this year’s primaries. Lawmakers said they will consider in the summer or early fall if changes need to be made for November’s elections.

Voters requesting an absentee ballot by mail or at an in-person location can select “State of Emergency” for the no-reason absentee ballot, South Carolina Election Commission spokesman Chris Whitmire said.


Election officials have also been given $15 million for safety at the polls. They plan to use the money to hire additional poll workers and get them protective equipment like masks, face shields and gloves as well as adding sneeze guards, hand sanitizer and cotton swabs to use on the touchscreen machines.

Some typical polling places are refusing to open for the primaries out of safety concerns, so officials are moving or combining some precincts.