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Registration, Absentee Voting Break Records

October 28, 2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Chris Whitmire, (803) 734-9070, cwhitmire@elections.sc.gov


Registration, Absentee Voting Break Records


COLUMBIA, S.C. (October 28, 2008) – Approximately 2,552,000 voters are eligible to vote in the 2008 General Election, a record high in South Carolina. The number of registered voters in the state has increased by 310,000 since January 1st. Also, more than 218,000 absentee ballots have been issued throughout the state, far surpassing the previous record of 169,000 absentee ballots issued before the 2004 General Election.

Election

Total Voter Registration (VR)

Increase in VR

1/1 – Election Day

Absentee Ballots Issued

Voter Participation

2000

2,266,000

127,000

103,000

1,434,000 (63%)

2004

2,315,000

198,000

169,000

1,631,000 (70%)

2008

2,552,000

308,000

218,000 (as of 10/28)

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Record voter registration could result in record voter turnout and lines at some polling places on Election Day. To avoid lines and speed the process along, be prepared:

· Know what precinct you vote in and where you polling place is located. (scVOTES.org)

· Try to avoid the busiest voting hours; typically 7 – 9 a.m., 12 – 2 p.m., and 5 – 7 p.m.

· Familiarize yourself with the candidate and questions on your ballot. (scVOTES.org)

· Bring your voter registration card, driver’s license, or DMV-issued ID card with you.

· Don’t bring campaign t-shirts, signs, etc. to the polls; or be prepared to cover them.

There is still time to vote absentee, but deadlines are fast approaching.

If you are aged 65 or older or are unable to make it to the polls on Election Day, you are likely eligible to vote an absentee ballot. For a full list of reasons to vote absentee, visit scVOTES.org.

Absentee in Person: With only one week remaining before Election Day, voting absentee in person at your county voter registration office is your best option.

Deadline to vote absentee in person: 5:00 p.m., Monday, Nov. 3rd

Absentee by Mail: Voting absentee by mail is still possible. But with only one week remaining before Election Day, doing so is risky and should only be used as a last option.

Deadline to return absentee by mail application: 5:00 p.m., Friday, Oct. 31st
Deadline to return absentee ballot: 7:00 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 4th

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