COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — More than 14% of registered voters in South Carolina have already cast ballots for the 2022 general election after the state opened up no excuse early voting to all for the first time.
More than 438,000 early votes and 51,500 absentee votes were in as of the end of Thursday, which was the 10th day of early voting, according to statistics from the South Carolina Election Commission.
Turnout has been steadily increasing about each day. More than 50,000 votes were cast Thursday, the most of any day so far.
If turnout in 2022 is similar to the turnout in the last midterm elections in 2018, that means about 25% of votes in South Carolina would be in before Election Day on Tuesday.
South Carolina has nearly 3.4 million registered voters, adding about 240,000 people to the rolls since the 2018 midterm elections, when turnout was about 55%.
Early voting came to South Carolina this year thanks to a new law that received nearly unanimous support in the General Assembly. Voters get 12 days to cast ballots ending the Saturday before the election.
Over the past several elections, South Carolina has allowed people to cast absentee ballots in person, but they had to include an excuse for why they could not be at the polls on Election Day. The law passed this year has South Carolina returning to mail-in absentee ballots.