COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina election officials are preparing for early voting for the first time in next month’s primaries. It’s a different approach in an era where many other states are passing laws to make it harder to cast ballots early.
Republican Gov. Henry McMaster held a ceremonial bill signing Wednesday afternoon. He actually put his pen to the act on Friday so that local election officials could have as much time as possible to plan for the start of early voting on May 31.
“I think we can agree that South Carolinians should be able to cast their ballots freely and with confidence, knowing that they will be properly counted and reported,” the governor said Wednesday. “Unfortunately, through error, irregularities, accident and even fraud, that confidence is sometimes destroyed.”
The bill allows for two weeks of early voting for the June 14 primaries. It also makes voting fraud a felony and restricts absentee ballots to mail-in only.