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Grassroots campaign hopes to make absentee ballot process easier to navigate

Trying to find answers to questions about absentee voting can be difficult, but one midlands group is trying to make the process easier to navigate.

RICHLAND COUNTY, S.C. — We're less than two weeks way from election day, but already, hundreds of thousands of South Carolinians have cast their vote.

RELATED: South Carolina sets new record for absentee ballot voting

If you still need to vote absentee, trying to find answers on how to fill out your ballot can be difficult, but there's a midlands group trying to make the process easier to navigate.

RELATED: Where can I vote absentee in person in the Midlands?

"We're a group of citizens who started the conversation on how to increase voter turnout in Richland County," Dr. Kabrina Bass said.

Dr. Bass is the executive director of Midlands Mediation Center. Her organization has teamed up with the non-partisan grassroots campaign, "Richland County Committee to Increase the Vote." 

Over the course of the election cycle, the conversation has developed into how to get factual information about the ballot process to voters.

"One of the biggest sources of misinformation surrounds absentee ballots," said Bass. "We heard that a lot of absentee ballots are discarded because they are not completed correctly."

Bass says she's fielded several questions about what to do with your mail-in ballot if you decide to vote in-person.

RELATED: Here's how Richland County is making it easier for you to vote absentee

"Go vote in-person absentee, they will let you vote in-person absentee," said Chris Whitmire with the SC Election Commission. "If you later get it in the mail, destroy it. There is not a requirement that you bring the ballot back to the office."

With that said, Whitmire says keep in mind the election rules change on November 3.

"On election day, if you’ve been issued an absentee ballot and you go to your polling place, the poll manager is going to inform you that you need to vote absentee," Whitmire said. "You can return your absentee ballot to your county voter registration office by 7 p.m. or you can return it unvoted and they will authorize you to come to the polls.”

Bass and her organization are now working directly with the Richland County Election Commission. Her team has produced a "how to" video on how to properly fill out your absentee ballot.

"It has been amazing," Bass said. "Not only have they accepted the video, but the feedback from the experience of working with election commission has been great. They have been receptive to those things."

For more information on the November General Election, including individual voting information, visit SCVotes.gov.