Q. What was the highest wind speed recorded for Isaias when it went through Conway?

A. We turned to Le Hendrick, Conway’s fire chief and emergency management director, for the answer to your question.

Conway’s sustained winds were recorded at 35 to 45 mph, and the highest wind gust was recorded at 53 mph. The highest winds for a tropical storm are 74 mph. At 75 mph, it becomes a hurricane. These wind speeds were measured on U.S. 701 South, according to Hendrick.

Q. What is the process to receive an absentee ballot and cast my vote?

A. According to information gleaned from SCVotes.gov, first you must qualify to be an absentee voter.

Voters who qualify are members of the armed forces, merchant marines, their spouses and dependents living with them; people who serve with the American Red Cross or the USO and are attached to and serving with the Armed Forces outside of their county or residence and their spouses and dependents living with them; citizens living overseas; people who are disabled by an illness or injury; students attending school outside of their county of residence and their spouses and dependents living with them; people who plan to be on vacation outside of their city of residence on Election Day; people serving as jurors in state or federal court on Election Day; people admitted to the hospital as emergency patients on Election Day or within a four-day period before the election; people with a death or funeral in the family within three days before the election; people confined to a jail or a pre-trial facility pending disposition of their charges; people caring for sick or physically disabled people; certified poll watchers, managers and county election officials working on election day; people 65 or older; and people who for religious reasons do not want to vote on a Saturday (Presidential Primaries Only).

Voters may request absentee ballots in person, by phone (except authorized representative), by mail, or by contacting the county voter registration office in the county where they are registered.

The Horry County Voters Registration and Elections Office is located at 1515 Fourth Ave., Conway, SC 29526. The phone number is (843) 915-5440.

The voter, a member of the voter’s immediate family, or the voter’s authorized representative may request the absentee ballot application. An authorized representative is a registered voter who, with a voter’s permission, can request an absentee ballot application on behalf of a voter who qualifies because of illness or disability. Candidates and paid campaign workers may not serve as authorized representatives.

Voters admitted to the hospital as an emergency patient on the day of the election or within four days of the election can have an immediate family member apply and take a ballot to the voter.

To have your absentee ballot returned by a person other than yourself, it is necessary for the absentee voter to complete an “Authorization to Return Absentee Ballot Form”. The absentee voter completes Part I, and the person returning the ballot completes Part II of the form. Candidates and paid campaign workers may not return absentee ballots unless they are immediate family members of the voter.

Additional absentee voting rules

Your completed absentee ballot must be placed in the “Ballots Herein” envelope provided with your absentee ballot. The “Ballots Herein” envelope will then be placed inside a “Return Envelope” which you must sign and have witnessed before returning.

State law requires the voter to sign the application for an absentee ballot and oath on the envelope used to return the absentee ballot. A “power of attorney” is not applicable for voting.

Voters unable to write because of physical handicap or illiteracy may receive help in applying for and marking their ballots. The voter must make his/her mark and have the mark witnessed by someone chosen by the voter.

Absentee voters may go to the county office to complete an application for an absentee ballot and cast their ballots. Absentee voting is allowed until 5 p.m. on the day before an election. A photo ID is required just the same as at a polling place.

A photo ID is not required to vote absentee by mail.

To get your application online you must be able to print your application or save it for printing later. To request an application, you can contact the voter registration and elections office in your county by phone, mail, email or fax. An application will be emailed to you.

You must complete and sign the application and return it to the voter registration office no later than 5 p.m. on the fourth day before the election. That will typically be a Friday. You may return the application by mail, email, fax or personal delivery.

You’ll get an absentee ballot in the mail. You need to make your choices and return the ballot to the county voter registration office by 7 p.m. on Election Day. You may also return it personally or by mail or have someone else return it for you, but you’ll have to complete an authorization to return the absentee ballot form. This form is also available at the Horry County office.

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I'm the editor of the Horry Independent, a weekly newspaper in Conway, South Carolina. I cover city hall and courts, among many other subjects. Know of a good story? Call me at 843-488-7241.

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