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Lowcountry voter registration offices aren't exactly packed these days, even though Saturday is the deadline to register to vote in the June 8 primaries.

Maybe it's because so many people already registered during the run-up to the historic 2008 general election, or maybe it's because the current candidates haven't sparked much voter interest so far.

Whatever the reason, only one person was inside Charleston County's registration office Thursday morning.

And Dorchester County's voter registration office in St. George wasn't seeing big crowds either, said Joseph Debney, executive director of the county's Elections and Voter Registration office.

"We've had a few absentee requests but nothing huge," he said. "Who knows? It might not be on their radar just yet."

Only a few people had shown up to register or cast absentee ballots in Charleston County by early Thursday afternoon, said Marilyn Bowers, executive director of the county's Board of Elections and Voter Registration. But the North Charleston office is seeing a steady stream of mail and e-mail requests.

"From what we're hearing statewide, no county is seeing a lot of interest yet," Bowers said. "In every election the candidates drive the outcome, so until we see a little more from the candidates, you're not going to see a lot of heated interest from the voters."

Those who have moved within their county also should contact their voter registration office to ensure their address is updated, said Wanda Farley, director of the Berkeley County Voter Registration and Elections office.

They can update that information after Saturday, but the sooner the better.

"That's our biggest aggravation on Election Day," Farley said. "People move, and they make this assumption that the Department of Motor Vehicles took care of (their voter registration) when they changed their driver's license."

Offices in Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester counties will hold special hours Saturday morning to deal with last-minute voter registrations.

Since April 4, the number of new voters being added to the rolls weekly has about doubled, State Election Commission public information officer Chris Whitmire said. The state added 3,843 more voters in the past week.

While the Legislature is debating a bill about what identification voters must bring to the polls and when the state will allow early voting, those changes won't take effect this year, even if the bill passes, Whitmire said.


Saturday is the deadline for registering to vote in the June 8 Democratic and Republican primaries. Here's some basic information you need to know:

• Voter registration forms can be downloaded online at scvotes.org. All registration-by-mail forms must be postmarked no later than May 8.

• Residents also can register in person at their county's elections office, several of which are holding special hours Saturday (see below).

• Those who cannot vote at their regular polling place on Election Day may request an absentee ballot, again by contacting their elections office.

BERKELEY COUNTY: 6 Belt Drive in Moncks Corner, 723-3800, ext. 4056, or 719-4056. (Open Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon) Website: berkeleycountysc.gov/dept/elections.

CHARLESTON COUNTY: 4367 Headquarters Road in North Charleston, 744-8683. (Open Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.) Website: vote.charlestoncounty.org.

DORCHESTER COUNTY: 201 Johnston St., Waggoner Building, St. George, 563-0071 or 832-0132. (The St. George office will open Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon, as will the county's Summerville office at 500 N. Main St.) Website: dorchestervotes.org.