Associated Press
A voter is instructed how to sign his absentee ballot after voting on site at the Miami-Dade County elections office, Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012 in Miami. The Florida campaign office for President Barack Obama is encouraging Floridians to to vote absentee in person with their \"Vote Now! \" initiative. The general election is Nov. 6.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Absentee voting in South Carolina is outpacing ballots cast early in the last presidential election.

Chris Whitmire of the state Election Commission says voters have requested more than 214,000 absentee ballots so far. That's about 25,000 more than voters requested by Oct. 22, 2008.

Whitmire notes this year's calendar provides two additional days to vote absentee, since the election falls on Nov. 6.

Just over half of the requested absentee ballots had been returned by Monday.

The numbers include both mailed ballots and people voting in-person absentee. Though South Carolina technically does not have early voting, people can vote at their county office if they give an excuse for why they can't vote on Election Day.

Absentee voting hit a record high in 2008, representing 18 percent of ballots cast.