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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- South Carolina's record high for absentee voting continues to climb after surpassing votes cast early four years ago.

The state Election Commission said about 376,000 people had voted absentee by 4:30 p.m. Monday. That exceeds the previous high set in 2008 by more than 33,500 voters.

In the last presidential election, absentee voting represented nearly 18 percent of all ballots cast.

The numbers include both mailed ballots and people voting in-person absentee. South Carolina technically does not have early voting. But people can vote at their county office if they give an excuse for why they can't vote on Election Day. That option closed at 5 p.m. Monday.

Absentee voters could climb to more than 400,000, according to total ballots issued. Mailed ballots must be returned by 7 p.m. Tuesday.

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