BEAUFORT COUNTY, S.C. (WSAV) — The first day for early voting in South Carolina brought hundreds of people out to the four spots in Beaufort County where you could cast a ballot, including the Voter Registration Office in Beaufort.

“We are compelled each time an election comes around to participate. It’s kind of a lifelong responsibility,” said Rick Kroncke.

Rick Kroncke and his wife were two of the 110 people that had already stood in line and voted in Beaufort County by 1:30 p.m. Monday.

In 2020, 33,000 voters came early with another 23,000 absentees or by mail.

While election officials say the number may not be that high this year, they do believe many folks want their ballot in long before election day, just to be sure.

“It’s the same,” said Marie Smalls, Beaufort County Elections Director. “It doesn’t matter what day you come it is just a matter of you may have to wait a little longer. The process doesn’t change. We just ask that people educate themselves and know who they are going to vote for.

Fifty-four poll workers are doing their part to move the line along at the four early voting sites in the county. The main request, look at the ballot in advance, including the two ballot questions for Beaufort County and two statewide. That way when you do get to the machine, you can make your choices quickly to keep the lines moving.

While the process at the precinct was smooth, while News 3 was there, questions arose about absentee ballots that haven’t shown up in the mailboxes of people that have ordered them, including some college students living up North.

Smalls says if you call with questions, they will check to see if the ballot has been delivered, or where it might be. The only issue? Once its with the post office, its in their hands, not election officials.

“We don’t work for the postal service,” said Smalls. “So the unfortunate thing is once it’s put in the mail it’s up to the post office to deliver. That’s why we have to work with them to make sure that this process doesn’t have any holes in it so voters get their ballots in on time.”

Smalls says if there is an issue, or the ballots have not been sent out by the state, election officials can rectify that, and send out another absentee ballot.

That must be done by Friday, the deadline for absentees to be sent out.

As for early voting, Smalls says her staff is working as hard and as fast as possible to get folks through quickly, without sacrificing safety or making any mistakes.

Any issues that happened during the primaries, which included a few dozen people not being able to vote for themselves, or in the right district, Smalls says have been rectified and triple-checked.

“We want to make sure the process is intact that every vote that is cast, is counted,” Smalls said.

You have a full two weeks if you want to go in and early vote. There are four designated early voting sites:

  • Beaufort (Main office) 15 John Galt Rd., Beaufort, South Carolina 29906
  • Bluffton (Bluffton Satellite office) 61B Ulmer Rd., Bluffton, South Carolina 29910
  • Hilton Head Government Complex 539 William Hilton Pkwy, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina 29928
  • St. Helena Branch Library 6355 Jonathan Francis Senior Rd., St. Helena Island, South Carolina 29920

Those offices will be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, Nov. 5. The early voting centers are closed on Sundays and legal holidays.