When should you get your absentee ballot and mail it in?

Charleston County News

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Social media claims that for absentee voting, the United States Postal Service is asking citizens to give their ballots 14 days round-trip to be counted for the November Elections.

The U.S.P.S. said that if you are choosing to vote by absentee ballot or mail-in ballot, you must do so by submitting it through first-class mail or an expedited equivalent as well as getting that ballot delivered to you and turned in as early as possible.  

While it may not be 14-days round trip, the Postal Service is strongly recommending that jurisdictions should advise voters to request ballots no later than 15 days prior to the election date. 

Charleston County’s Board of Elections said that while you should request an absentee ballot as early as possible, they do not anticipate for ballots from Charleston county voters who live in Charleston to take longer than 3 business days to be received by their headquarters.  

However, if you are a college student or know you will be out of town and are a Charleston resident, Isaac Cramer, the Project Manager for the Charleston County Board of Elections, said to request your ballot now so that when they are mailed to voters 30 days prior to the election, you will receive your ballot the week of October 5th

Cramer said that in the final weeks ahead of the June Primaries, the county processed 23,000 applications for absentee ballots. The County said that when November hits, they presume more will apply if the legislation, No Excuse Absentee Voting, a election measure they are pushing for, passes. 

We’re anticipating 40-50,000 so as soon as we open up No Excuse Absentee that’s going to flood the  applications and requests which is really going to make it administratively tough and difficult for counties across South Carolina to process that many people I such a compressed timeline—we saw that in June.   

Isaac Cramer, Project Manager Charleston County Board of Elections 

In addition to pushing for the No Excuse Absentee Voting for the State—the county is also pushing for more drop-in Absentee Ballot Boxes. Cramer said as of now, they already have an M.O.U. agreement with the Charleston County Library System to utilize their space for drop boxes. But to obtain the ‘okay’ to get these drop boxes, the legislature must return from their recess prior to October to approve them as drop boxes and other supplies needed for the November Elections will take time to obtain and make. 

As for how many election ballot boxes would go to Charleston County if approved—Cramer said there would be 6 total and some would go to the downtown Charleston area while others would go towards the Awendaw-McClellanville area.

In addition to the excess ballot boxes and No Excuse Absentee Voting, the South Carolina Association of Registration and Elections Officials Inc. (SCARE), also asked the state to remove their ‘Witness Signature Requirement’ and allow counties the ability to process ballots beginning the Friday before the election. SCARE asked that the public contact their local representatives to push forward on these ideals.

For more information on Absentee Voting in Charleston County, click here.

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