By Stan Welch
In a dark and cloudy aftermath to the 2020 elections, South Carolina provided a bright spot, in terms of participation and turnout. New records were set in a number of categories which gauge voter interest and participations. Not surprisingly, two of the voter records broken included absentee ballots and mail in ballot, as voters reacted to the COVID 19 pandemic. Absentee ballots more than doubled the previous high, while mail in votes almost exactly tripled the previous record.
More surprising, however, was the fact that the number of in person voters more than doubled the previous record. Just under two million votes were cast on Election day, fueling a total voter count of more than two and a half million people. The percentage of registered voters casting ballots was seventy two per cent. The only higher percentage came in 2008 when 76% voted.
Last week the five members of the SC State Election Commission approved a resolution of thanks and appreciation to voters for their patience and enthusiasm and to county and state election officials and volunteers for their unwavering commitment to creating and enacting plans to provide safe and accessible registration and voting opportunities for every citizen.
“Faced with extraordinary challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, state and county election officials worked tirelessly to adapt to new voting laws and set up safe voting processes,” said John Wells, Chairman of the State Election Commission. “As a result, the 2020 General Election was conducted safely and securely, all while seeing the largest number of voters in South Carolina election history. We thank the voters across South Carolina for their patience and enthusiasm under unprecedented circumstances.”
A record number of South Carolinians exercised their right to vote in the 2020 General Election:
Absentee Votes – 1,334,000. New record (previously 503,000 in 2016 GE).
In Person – 893,000. New record (previously 370,000 in 2016 GE).
By Mail – 441,000. New record (previously 147,000 in 2016 GE).
Election Day Votes – 1,199,000.
Total Voter Turnout – 2,533,000. New record (2,124,000 in 2016 GE).
53% voted absentee. Record high (24% in 2016 GE).
47% voted on election day. Record low (76% in 2016 GE).
Voter Turnout Percentage – 72%.
Highest turnout percentage since 2008 GE (76%).
Second highest turnout percentage in the last 25 years.
By Stan Welch