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Two weeks of no-excuse, in-person early voting signed into law in South Carolina

The bill also cracks down on voter fraud making it a felony.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Governor Henry McMaster, on Friday, signed into law a bill he said will help keep the state's elections secure and fair while also making the process easier for qualified voters.

As News19's Becky Budds previously reported, the bill was resurrected just days earlier in a bipartisan effort and compromise that received unanimous support. It will open polling places for regular early voting for two weeks before elections except on Sunday without an excuse.

The bill also would make voter fraud a felony, increasing fines and possible jail time for people who try to vote under a false name, vote more than once, or poll managers who intentionally break the law.

The proposal requires audits of at least 5% of all votes in a county in the days after an election.

McMaster, who announced that he had signed the bill on Friday, called it a victory for secure elections.

"It makes it easier to vote and harder to cheat – making our elections more secure and protecting us from the election day disasters we saw nationwide in 2020," he wrote in a tweet.

The law will mean any registered voter will now be able to visit an early voting location in their county, except on Sundays, over that two-week period between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m.

This means the first time you can vote early will be in the statewide primary on June 14. Early voting starts on May 31 and closes on June 10. Voting will, however, be closed on June 5 and June 6.

The in-person deadline to register has already passed but online registration continues through Sunday, May 15.

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