Virus threat won’t delay June 9 primaries
From Staff Reports
South Carolina’s June 9 statewide primary elections and June 23 runoffs will go on as planned – but officials advise that you wear a face mask and “be patient.”
The State Election Commission said last week that it would not postpone the Democratic and Republican primaries because of the coronavirus crisis.
“The SEC has no authority to delay the primaries or deviate from current law in conducting elections,” the commission said. “Voting options remain unchanged. Voters should prepare now to exercise their right to vote by choosing the best option for them.”
Still, state election officials advise qualifying voters to vote absentee if possible to reduce the risk of being exposed to the virus. Those voting absentee by mail should apply now, officials said. In-person absentee voting at county voter registration offices begins May 4.
Among the qualifications for voting absentee: Being 65 or older; having a disability (which includes illness and injury); and attending to a sick or disabled person.
Officials are working to safeguard both voters and poll managers from exposure to the coronavirus. If you’re voting in person June 9, expect to see poll managers wearing masks, face shields and gloves; sneeze guards in use at check-in stations; hand sanitizer available for voters and poll workers; and cotton swabs available for making selections on the touchscreen.
Check-in stations and voting equipment will be spaced at least 6 feet apart, officials say.
Some polling places might be relocated or consolidated because of the pandemic.
If you’re voting in person, officials advise you to:
• Bring a photo ID (or voter registration card).
• Check your polling place at scVOTES.org 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 6 feet apart from others.
• Be patient.