MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCBD) – No matter how you plan to vote in the upcoming November 3 election, make sure you are familiar with any changes due to the pandemic.
If you are voting by mail, you’ll want to pay close attention and avoid some mistakes that could invalidate your ballot.
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that witness signatures are required on all absentee by-mail ballots in South Carolina. If you forget to sign your ballot, or do not include a witness signature, your ballot will not be valid. Anyone who can sign print and sign their name can serve as a witness on your ballot.
Chris Whitmire with the SC Election Commission says that careless mistakes could be detrimental:
“You as the voter need to sign the voters oath and then have somebody witness that signature right below your signature and provide your address. That is required. If you don’t do either one of those things, your ballot will not count.”
Election officials say if you make a mistake on your ballot, like forgetting to vote for someone, the ballot stands however it was delivered and cannot be fixed.
You will not be notified if something is wrong.
Officials say while these mistakes are rare, they can happen – so make sure everything is correct and all requirements are met before you mail your ballot.
Those who are voting absentee by-mail should aim to return their ballots as soon as possible to ensure it arrival before Election Day. Chris Whitmire says that he US Postal Service is both safe and reliable:
“The postal service is an organization that not only expresses it’s dedication to election mail and making sure it gets where it’s supposed to go and doing so securely, they’ve demonstrated that over the years.”
Ballots can also be dropped off at county election offices, and satellite in-person absentee voting locations.
Those voting in-person, whether early or on election day, can rest assured that polling places are adhering to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines. Precautions such as hand sanitizer, sneeze guards, and using cotton swabs to touch screens are all being taken.