Back and forth: Confusion arises over absentee voting in South Carolina

Back and forth: Confusion arises over absentee voting in South Carolina

LANCASTER, S.C. — Election Day is five weeks away and Tuesday night is the first presidential debate. Voting, specifically absentee ballots, will likely be a big topic during the debate.

For South Carolina voters, it has been a confusing back and forth over whether you need a witness signature.

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Judges have been going back and forth over whether or not you need a witness to sign your absentee ballot for weeks, creating confusion for voters.

Here’s the timeline:

On Sept. 19, a district court judge ruled that voters don’t need a witness to sign your absentee ballot.

Then, a panel of judges on the Court of Appeals reversed the ruling saying you do need a witness.

One day later, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed it back, which means a witness is not needed.

Lancaster County is dealing with a flood of absentee ballots. Officials with the Board of Elections said they have received three times the number of ballots from the 2016 election and it isn’t even the busy season yet.

“In the past elections, we have always known what was going to happen when it was going to happen how it was going to happen,” Lancaster County BOE Director said. "And this election, it seems to be changing every day.

Although Democrats applaud the most recent decision doing away with the witness requirement, party officials encourage voters to get a witness just in case the courts reverse themselves.

In the video at the top of this webpage, reporter Glenn Counts speaks with election workers and voters about the confusing issue.

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