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Early voting starts for first time in South Carolina Tuesday

Early Voting-South Carolina
Jeffrey Collins/AP
/
AP
South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster ceremonially signs a bill allowing early voting in the state on Wednesday, May 18, 2022, in Columbia, S.C. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina begins regular early voting across the state for the first time Tuesday.

Legislators passed and the governor signed into law a bill allowing anyone to cast a ballot without an excuse for the two weeks before Election Day in the same way they would by going to the polls.

South Carolina's primaries are June 14 and early voting is available Monday through Friday. The procedure to vote is just the same as on Election Day. For the general election in November, early voting centers will also be open on Saturdays.

Counties are required to have at least one polling place open. Some smaller counties like Bamberg, Chester, Hampton and Williamsburg counties will have multiple locations, while some larger counties like Aiken, Charleston, Greenville, Lexington and York only have one site at the county election office. A list of sites is on the South Carolina Election Commission's website.

County officials said early voting does give them flexibility to get more workers or voting machines to a site if it gets busy, which is something impossible to do on Election Day.

Absentee voting is still allowed for people over the age of 65, with mobility issues or illnesses, but those ballots must be cast by mail.

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This story corrects that early voting centers will not be open on Saturdays for the primaries.