Thousands of Dorchester County voters are hitting the polls ahead of Election Day for record absentee voter turnout

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DORCHESTER COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – Absentee voting in Dorchester County is at an all-time record high. Whether you choose to vote absentee by mail, in person or heading to the polls on Election Day, Todd Billman, the Executive Director for Dorchester County Voter Registration and Elections said this year’s process is more efficient.

“We have new equipment, we have a new check-in system, we hope that it’s going to streamline the system because it’s a touch-screen,” Billman said. “We expect to have probably 15,000 ballots come into our office. To put that into perspective, the last general election in 2016, we only had about 48-hundred ballots.”

Absentee-in person turnout is also at an all time high for Dorchester County.

“We’re looking at about 40,000 people voting before Election Day in Dorchester County which would be a landmark turnout for absentee,” said Billman.

The three absentee locations for Dorchester County will be open through Friday, October 30th, 8:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.

  • Dorchester County Clemson Extension Office located at 20 Johnston Street in St. George
  • Rollins Edwards Community Center located at 301 N. Hickory St. in Summerville
  • Wescott Park Community Center located at 9006 Dorchester Road in North Charleston

On Saturday, October 31st, the county will open up the St. George office from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. for voters needing the extra time to cast their ballot.

If you’ve chosen to vote absentee by mail and you don’t believe you’ll have enough time to send your ballot back by mail, you can drop it off at any of the locations mentioned above, or choose to vote absentee in person.

“They can either vote their ballot right here in one of our satellite locations, OR they can surrender the ballot if it hasn’t been voted and they can wait in line and vote,” said Billman.

If you can’t make it this weekend, you’ll have one more chance to vote in-person absentee in for the 2020 election ahead of election day.

“The only location that’s going to be open on November 2nd, that Monday before the election, is our Saint George facility,” said Billman. Those hours will still run from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Then on November 2nd, voters will hit the polls. For voters looking to find out which precinct they should vote in, click here.

Once you arrive to the polls, expect to see workers following safety guidelines.

“For all of the people that are working for us on election day it’s a requirement for them to wear a mask, to follow the CDC guidelines, to clean, all that kind’ve stuff.” said Billman.

While masks are not required for voters, the county is strongly encouraging voters to do the same.

“Most people are following those guidelines without having to enforce them,” Billman said. “We have extra masks, we have Q-tips, so people don’t have to touch the screens if they don’t want to, and we’re doing everything we can to protect the voters.”

If you’re still wanting to cast your ballot by mail, no problem. Voters can track their ballot and receive updates in real time.

“It’s not just like, we’ve issued you a ballot, and then it shows up, and then it’s received,” Billman said. “It actually tracks all along the way, it uses the United States Postal System.”

Ballot Scout is a method the tri-county is using to ensure voters their ballot is counted in the 2020 election. For all other information on casting your ballot in Dorchester County, click here.

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