Elections Board: In light of COVID-19, absentee voting is urged

May 8 is the deadline to register to vote in person in the June 9 primaries in South Carolina, and May 10 is the deadline to register to vote by mail or absentee.

Edith Redden, Director of the Williamsburg County Board of Voter Registration and Elections said this year, because of the continuing threat of contracting the COVID-19 virus, voters are urged to mail in their ballots and vote absentee.

State voting officials were working this past week to make that request known to all voting boards, she said. If a mail-in application for registration is received on May 11, but postmarked May 10, she said it will be accepted. 

There are several ways voters can request an application to be registered to vote. Redden said you can call her office at (843) 355-6044 or go online at scvotes.org. The application is downloaded, printed, and returned to her office at 126 S. Jackson Street, Kingstree, SC 29556.

Registration will require a S.C. driver’s license or DMV ID.

May 11 is also the deadline for county boards to have an in-office absentee precinct fully operational for the June primaries. Redden said the county is working on a location for that and more information is forthcoming.

June 5 is the deadline to apply for an absentee by mail ballot for the state primaries, however, the scvotes.org website, and Redden, warn that “voters should apply at least one week prior to election day to allow adequate mail time. Applying late puts voters at risk of being unable to return ballots by the deadline of 7 p.m. on election day.”

County boards will have absentee voting hours from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and June 8 at 5 p.m. is the deadline to vote absentee in person for the primaries.

A call to the County’s Voter Registration and Elections office will get a ballot placed in the mail to registered voters, Redden said, so they can be received before the primary election deadline. Reasons for absentee voting are found online.

The primary will be June 9 from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. The county is looking for poll workers, for that day, Redden said. The application to be a poll worker is also found online at scvotes.org.

On the ballot this year are the contested races for U.S. Senate and House District 6 Seat, State Senate District 32, County Coroner, and County Council seats 3, 4, and 5.

Unopposed candidates up for reelection include Williamsburg County Sheriff Stephen Gardner, Clerk of Court Sharon Staggers and Betty Matthews, Probate Judge.

Carl L. Anderson is unopposed for his House Seat 103, serving portions of Georgetown, Horry and Williamsburg County and Cezar McKnight is unopposed for his House Seat, District 101, serving Clarendon and Williamsburg counties.