Aiken County residents are getting a jump on voting for the general election with several hundred casting their ballot in person on the first day of absentee voting.
Michael Bond with County Registration and Elections reported that approximately 200 individuals stopped in the office Monday, the day absentee voting began, to select their candidate of choice for U.S. President and Vice President, U.S. Congress, S.C. Senate and House and Aiken County Council, among others.
Even more have submitted applications to vote absentee.
“We’ve had right close to 3,000 requests,” Bond said.
Absentee voting is open to all those who, depending on their individual circumstances, will not be able to visit their polling precinct on Election Day.
Absentee voting may be completed in person up until 5 p.m. the day before the election or conducted by mail. No appointment is necessary to vote absentee in person.
The general election is Nov. 6.
Absentee voting differs from early voting in that, according to Bond, absentee voting is open only to those who meet certain qualifications for why they will not be present at their precinct on Election Day. A person must fill out an application attesting to their reason for voting absentee.
In-person early voting, which South Carolina does not currently allow, permits any registered voter to cast a ballot prior to the election without excuse or justification.
People who, for reasons of employment, will not be able to vote, those with physical disabilities or those who will be out of their county of residence on Election Day, among other reasons, may vote absentee.
Absentee votes are accepted in person at the Aiken County Registration and Elections Office, 916 Vaucluse Road. People can also call the office to request an absentee ballot application be mailed to their residence or print out an application from www.scvotes.org.
If voting absentee in person at the Registration and Elections office, a person must have with them either their registration card, their driver’s license or a state-issued photo ID.
Starting Oct. 15, a satellite absentee voting office will be open in Kalmia Mall from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
For more information, call the Registration and Elections office at 642-2028. Its mailing address is 916 Vaucluse Road, Aiken, SC 29801. Its fax number is 642-2029.