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Absentee voting numbers make for promising election in Horry County

Absentee line in Horry County (Madeline Montgomery/WPDE)

Absentee voters saw lines and elections officials saw record breaking numbers Monday.

"It went well. The line was longer than we expected when we first got here," said James Shelley, an absentee voter.

"I was amazed. We were just going to drop in very quickly, I'm heading to Greenville, like I said, and we were amazed. I said, 'We're never going to get out of here,'" said Gerri McDaniel, an absentee voter.

The numbers were not expected for a midterm election.

"It has been extremely busy. We opened absentee October the 8th and as of earlier this morning, we had already issued over 11,200 ballots," said Sandy Martin, the director for registration elections for Horry County.

That's compared to only 4,900 absentee ballots issued during the last midterm in 2014.

"I just think there's a lot of interest in this election. We've got some state offices on the ballot, a lot of our county offices are not contested this time, but there are some state offices that there's a lot of interest in," said Martin.

"Usually during a presidential campaign, it's busy, it's crazy, but this time I think people are realizing just how important it is," said McDaniel.

State numbers are also high. Almost 300,000 absentee ballots were issued and that's not the final number. Only 150,000 were issued the last midterm.

"I'm very glad people are getting out to vote this time,"said McDaniel.

And lines are expected Tuesday.

"I think it's going to be a busy election tomorrow. Typically when we have a good turn out for absentee, we have a good turn out at the polls and we're hoping that that's what we're going to see," said Martin.

Mail-in absentee ballots are due by 7 p.m. Tuesday.

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