Today's the day to vote

Grace Beahm/staff Some voters, including teacher Tiffany Peoples, waited up to three hours to cast their absentee ballots at the Charleston County Absentee Voting center Monday in North Charleston. Buy this photo

If early voting is any indication, today will be a busy day at polling places across South Carolina.

A record number of state voters, 375,901, already cast absentee ballots as of Monday afternoon, a sign that turnout could equal or surpass the record set in 2008.

Total absentee ballots cast across the state could reach 400,000 — up more than 10 percent from four years ago. Richland and Charleston counties had the most absentee votes cast.

Overall turnout could be a record, too. South Carolina isn't a swing state, but voter interest here has been sparked by a close presidential race.

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Today's weather will be wetter and cooler than usual. Rain could begin in the morning, with the likelihood increasing during the day, particularly along the coast, said National Weather Service meteorologist Bob Bright.

“It's not going to be very nice if you need to be standing outside in line,” he said.

Arriving at the polls in midmorning and midafternoon could lead to shorter wait times. Most ballots this year are only half as long as in 2008, which could reduce the time spent in line.

Reach Robert Behre at 937-5771.

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