For starters, there is good - and mostly up to date - info on scvotes.gov about absentee voting.
There are 3 ways to vote:
1. In person “on a machine” at your local polling place on Nov. 3rd.
2. Absentee (early) in person “on a machine”
3. By absentee mail-in ballot.
These further clarifications apply to options 2 and 3.
· Anyone can vote absentee, no excuse needed.
· If you wish to vote absentee early in person “on a machine”, you SHOULD NOT send in an application for a mail-in ballot. You will fill out the application when you go, then vote on a machine at the same time. Early voting will be available at the 3 Beaufort County voter registration offices in Beaufort, Bluffton, and Hilton Head.
· The new satellite office will open 10/5/2020 on Hilton Head at 539 William Hilton Parkway, office hrs. Mon-Fri 9am - 4pm
· If you have already sent in an application for an absentee ballot, and then change your mind and decide you’d prefer to vote in person “on a machine” - whether early or on election day - you will not be able to do so UNLESS you surrender your absentee ballot at one of the three Beaufort County registration offices and they enter this into their system - note, it is possible that if trying to do this on Nov. 3rd, the information the poll worker has is not up to date, requiring that they call the board of elections to determine your status and leading to possible delays in your ability to vote. It’s better to vote early, since you can surrender your ballot and vote early at the same location at the same time.
· Absentee ballots will be mailed the week of 10/5
· IF YOU BRING AN ABSENTEE BALLOT TO YOUR POLLING PLACE on 11/3 AND ASK TO VOTE IN PERSON YOU WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO DO SO. Absentee ballots can only be surrendered at one of the 3 county voter registration locations.
· You can return your absentee mail-in ballot by mail or in person. The in-person locations are the 3 county voter registration offices. You must return it during office hours.
· There will be NO DROPBOXES anywhere, including at the 3 county voter registration locations
· If using a paper absentee ballot, make sure to follow all instructions carefully so that your ballot is not rejected. After some back and forth in the courts, a Witness signature WILL BE required.
· And, the obvious - if using the mail, send it back as early as possible!
Info on the 3 Beaufort County locations can be found here:
Beginning 10/5, all 3 will offer the following services: in-person early voting, drop-off of completed paper absentee ballot, surrender of paper absentee ballot
Hope this helps and that I haven’t added to your confusion!
Submitted by: Lauri Mitchell