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June 9 primaries to be held as scheduled; qualifying voters urged to vote absentee

June 9 primaries to be held as scheduled; qualifying voters urged to vote absentee

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COLUMBIA, S.C. – The June 9 statewide primary elections and June 23 runoffs are set to proceed as scheduled.

The South Carolina State Election Commission is urging qualifying voters to vote absentee because of the coronavirus threat.

“The SEC has no authority to delay the primaries or deviate from current law in conducting elections,” the commission said in a Monday news release. “Voting options remain unchanged. Voters should prepare now to exercise their right to vote by choosing the best option for them.”

Those who will be voting absentee by mail should apply now, the commission said. In-person absentee voting at county voter registration offices begins May 4.

Qualifications include:

• Being age 65 or older

• Having a disability (includes illness and injury)

• Attending a sick or disabled person

Click for a full list of absentee qualifications and to get your application.

For those who will vote on election day, the commission said election officials are taking steps to protect the health of voters and poll managers. Poll managers will receive special Covid-19 training on applying social distancing and maintaining sanitary conditions in the polling place.

• Election officials are working to source:

• Masks, face shields and gloves for poll managers.

• Sneeze guards for check-in stations.

• Sanitizing wipes for cleaning common surfaces.

• Hand sanitizer for voters and poll managers.

• Cotton swabs for making selections on the touchscreen.

• Check-in stations and voting equipment will be spaced at least six feet apart.

Some polling places will be relocated or consolidated due to the pandemic. Some facilities have declined to be used, and some poll managers have declined to serve. Election officials are working to find new locations and recruit new managers; however, some voters will vote at a different polling place.

Voters should prepare by making sure they are registered to vote, and your address is up to date.

Other instructions:

• Bring your Photo ID (or voter registration card if you do not have a Photo ID).

• Check your polling place at before going to the polls.

• Wear a protective mask if you have one.

• Bring your own pen for signing the poll list.

• Practice social distancing by spacing yourself at least six feet apart from others.

• Be patient.

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