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Nearly a Quarter Million Voters Added to Rolls in 2008

Numbers Continue to Rise after Deadline; Absentee Voting Underway

COLUMBIA, S.C. (October 7, 2008) - The deadline to register to vote in the General Election has passed, and preliminary numbers show the number of registered voters in South Carolina has increased more than 240,000  in 2008 by and now stands at 2.5 million.  This number will continue to rise as county voter registration offices continue to process applications received by the deadline.

Prior to the 2004 General Election, voter registration rolls increased by approximately 200,000 voters.  In that election, 70% of registered voters cast votes - a record number.

"The fact that nearly a quarter of a million South Carolinians have taken the first step to exercise their right to vote this year is truly encouraging," said Marci Andino, executive director of the South Carolina Election Commission, "and the fact that registration has outpaced that of 2004 points to the possibility we could see an even stronger turnout this year.

Absentee voting is underway throughout South Carolina.

If you are aged 65 or older or are unable to make it to the polls on Election Day, you are likely eligible to vote an absentee ballot.  Already nearly 100,000 voters have requested absentee ballot applications.  To request an absentee ballot, contact your county voter registration office.  Contact information for your county voter registration office can be found at, or by clicking here .

The State Election Commission encourages absentee voters to request their absentee ballot applications as early as possible.  You must return your application by mail no later than 5:00 p.m. on the Friday before the election, or vote absentee in person up until 5:00 p.m. on the Monday before the election.

Persons qualified to vote absentee:

  • Persons who will be outside their county of residence on Election Day
  • Members of the Uniformed Services or Merchant Marine, and their spouses and dependents residing with them
  • Persons who, for reasons of employment, will not be able to vote on election day
  • Physically disabled persons
  • Persons sixty-five years of age or older
  • Persons serving as a juror in state or federal court on Election Day
  • Persons admitted to the hospital as emergency patients on day of election or within a four-day period before the election
  • Persons with a death or funeral in the family within three days before the election
  • Persons confined to a jail or pre-trial facility pending disposition of arrest or trial
  • Persons attending sick or physically disabled persons
  • Certified poll watchers, poll managers, and county election officials working on Election Day
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