A large number of voters expected to show up for the midterms in South Carolina
Conway, S.C. (WPDE) —
The midterm elections are two weeks away and experts say they're expecting a record number of voters to show up to the polls.
Officials said they've seen 93 thousand additional registered voters since June with 31,000 of those registering as of October 5.
The midterm elections aren't as big as a presidential election, but that could change here in two weeks.
"Everything is pointing to a big year for turnout," said Drew Kurlowski, assistant professor of Politics Coastal Carolina University.
On average, experts say voter turnout during a presidential election year in South Carolina is about 54 percent, and a typical midterm election doesn't even reach above 36 percent.
But some say this time around that could change.
"I've seen predictions for this year that could approach 50 percent, which would be incredibly high, given what we've seen in previous elections here in South Carolina," said Kurlowski.
With so much at stake in a number of key southern states including Florida, Georgia and South Carolina, voters said they cant afford to sit this one out.
"The midterm elections is even more important than the presidential election because this effects your life here; presidential elections is an overall but the important thing is where you live," said Loraine Mitchell, who voted early on Monday.
"There's a sense of importance about this particular election that we have not seen in a number of different election cycles-- you'd have to go back probably to 1966 to see the type of midterm election turnout that we're expecting based on interest," said Kurlowski.
Election leaders in Horry County said they've been working nonstop the last few weeks with people voting absentee.
The extended deadline to register after the hurricane has also contributed to a possible record turnout.
"We'll start getting the voting machines ready tomorrow, and we typically deliver those the Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday and Monday before the election," said Sandy Martin, director of the Horry County Office of Elections.
Election experts say its tough to take anything away from the increase in registration numbers because those numbers essentially have to translate into voter turnout.