For most of Horry County’s absentee voters, mailing ballots to the elections office won’t be an option for this week’s runoff.
The quick turnaround time after the June 9 primary and an unprecedented number of absentee voters meant that most people who requested a mailed absentee ballot did not receive it until Saturday. Unless they mailed it that day, it probably won't arrive at the elections office in time to be counted.
“There’s just not enough time,” said Sandy Martin, director of the Horry County Voter Registration and Elections Office.
About 5,600 people who voted absentee in the primary are eligible to vote in this week’s runoff, which includes only Republican races. There’s a countywide runoff for the auditor’s race between R.A. Johnson and Beth Calhoun, and there are regional runoffs for the S.C. District 33 Senate seat (Luke Rankin and John Gallman) and the Horry County Council District 9 seat (Mark Causey and Terry Fowler).
Those who cast a ballot in the Democratic Primary on June 9 cannot vote in Tuesday’s runoff.
So what options are left for Republican absentee voters?
Voters can drop off absentee ballots until 7 p.m. Tuesday at the elections office ballot box. The white box sits to the right of the elections office at 1515 Fourth Ave. in Conway.
For those who cast an absentee ballot in person at the elections office for the June 9 primary, they can vote that way in the runoff until 5 p.m. today.
There’s also a third option. Absentee voters who did not receive their ballot in the mail can go their polling place on Tuesday and cast a provisional ballot. That means if the elections office confirms they haven’t submitted a mail-in ballot, that vote will be counted.
Martin stressed the easiest option for those who received a ballot in the mail is to fill it out, drive to Conway and place it in the box outside the elections office.
"Drop them in and keep rolling," she said.