S.C. officials: GOP absentee ballots more than double 2008 totals

Story highlights

  • Twice as many South Carolina Republicans submitted absentee ballots than did in 2008, election officials say
  • "Nearly 78,000 Absentee Ballots returned in Rep and Dem Primaries. More than double returned in '08," the elections account tweeted

Washington (CNN)Twice as many South Carolina Republicans submitted absentee ballots than did in 2008, election officials said Saturday, even as one large Republican county confronts some election challenges.

The South Carolina State Elections Commission reports that it received a total of almost 78,000 absentee ballots in the Democratic and Republican primaries.
"Record Absentee Numbers in #SCPrimary. Nearly 78,000 Absentee Ballots returned in Rep and Dem Primaries. More than double returned in '08," the elections account tweeted.
While higher absentee totals do not always correlate to higher turnout overall, South Carolina GOP officials are expecting a record number of people to cast ballots in the state's Republican primary.
"Our online metrics and social media are through the roof. We had record turnout last time -- 607,000 people," South Carolina GOP chairman Matt Moore said earlier this week on CNN. "I think it will be 650,000 to 700,000 people on Saturday."
Higher turnout on the Republican side is expected to favor Donald Trump, who has banked on drawing out less likely and first time voters in the Palmetto State.
But Anderson County, in the heavily conservative Upstate region, officials reported problems with technology and election workers. One site reported a long line and only one laptop. Another had trouble recruiting poll managers to volunteer.
Katy Smith, the director of Anderson County Registration and Elections, said the county was partially unprepared for the crush of voters.
"We just ask people to be patient and kind. We want them to vote," she said in a statement. "It just simply may take a little longer for such an important matter,"
And South Carolina's not the only contest where election observers are monitoring turnout. Nevada's Democrats are caucusing Saturday as well.