Absentee voting runs high

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By Jesef Williams

Absentee voting in Lancaster County seems to be following a statewide trend.
As of noon Thursday afternoon, 3,052 absentee ballots had been requested in Lancaster County, according to officials with the county’s election commission.
“For a mid-term election, it’s high,” said Cassie Stump, the county’s voter registration director.
More than 4,000 residents voted absentee in 2008. Voter turnout is typically higher in years featuring a presidential election, Stump said.
Today is the last day the county’s election commission will mail out absentee ballots. Monday is the last day to vote absentee.
You must have an excuse to vote absentee, which may include having to work, vacation, serving on a jury or being 65 or older.
Stump said there are a little more than 41,000 registered voters in Lancaster County.
State numbers
The State newspaper reported Thursday that South Carolina could be on its way to setting a new record for absentee voting.
Nearly 127,000 South Carolinians have been sent an absentee ballot. In comparison, close to   76,000 voters, a record number, voted absentee in 2006 – the last year the state elected a governor.
Richland and Charleston counties, with about 25,000 each, lead the state with the most absentee ballots sent out, The State reported.
S.C. Election Commission spokesman Chris Whitmire told The State he believes it’s the result of increased voter awareness.
“Voters in recent years have learned about the absentee process and more and more voters are doing it.” Whitmire was quoted in The State.  “It’s convenient for them.”

Contact reporter  Jesef Williams at jwilliams@thelancasternews.com or at (803) 283-1152