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Don't wait in line to drop off a ballot, Election Commission says

Voters dropping off their ballots at polling locations do not need to wait in line with in-person voters, according to the Election Commission.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Voters who get their ballots in the mail but decide to drop it off in person will not have to wait in line with other voters, according to the State Election Commission.

Over 400,000 South Carolinians have been issued a mail-in ballot as of October 15th. Some voters will mail back their completed ballot while others may decide to drop it off in person instead. 

“All county offices and extension offices should have a separate process for ballot drop-off. Voters should not have to wait in line with in-person absentee voters to drop off their by-mail ballot,” said Chris Whitmire, spokesperson for the Election Commission.

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News 19 checked in with a few county offices to see how they’re handling drop-offs.

The Richland County Elections Office told News19 voters can drop off ballots at their main and satellite locations. 

Director Alexandria Stephens said, “[voters] need to locate a poll worker and more than likely it’ll be someone outside doing curbside. Some of the locations like 2020 Hampton Street, we have a tent with the ballot box outside, and of course it’s being manned. You can just drive up where the tent is and drop your ballot off.”

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Sumter County has two separate lines for voting in-person and returning ballots at the County Court House. 

“There’s no waiting in line for bringing your ballot in… You are to bring your ballot up, have it plopped in and dropped off. There is no wait,” said Director Patricia Jefferson.

Jefferson added that people will have to come inside the Court House. 

“We don’t have a drop box. We want to capture those that are coming in. There’s someone at the backdoor of the Court House who is checking your temperature before entering the building and they’ll give you directions,” said Jefferson.

Lexington County has their ballot drop off outside. 

Director of Elections and Voter Registration, Mary Brack, said, “we have a table outside with a secure ballot box that the people are able to bring their ballots to us. There is a person at the table that will verify their names.”

Brack also said they prefer people to drop off their ballots at their main elections office but if someone needs to do it at one of their satellite locations, that’s okay too.