Board of Elections addresses long lines at polls, asking for volunteers

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - People across the Lowcountry spent hours waiting in line to vote on Tuesday.

Some people waited up to four hours to vote at St. John’s High School on Johns Island.

Officials with the Charleston County Board of Elections and voter registration say they are in need of more poll workers who could make things run smoother. Nine polls workers who were scheduled to work at St. John’s High did not show up.

It took Sharonda Williams 3.5 hours to vote.

“There’s so many dips and curves in here. I had no idea it was long, and I’m tired but it was worth it,” Williams said.

About 2,600 voters cast their ballots at St. John’s High.

The Executive Director of the Charleston County Board of Elections and Voter Registration Joe Debney says they are always in need of poll workers and they recruit year-round.

Clerks receive $195 dollars to work an election and poll managers received $135. Training is required to work the polls.

Newly elected Congressman Joe Cunningham was at the precinct on Tuesday.

“It’s by far the busiest place we’ve been to all day today,” Cunningham said.

People on Johns Island have asked why doesn’t the county open up another precinct for voters in this area. Local election officials say that decision is out of their control, and it’s determined by state law.

Charleston County officials also say they didn’t have any extra voting machines left to use. They sent out the same number used for the presidential election.

Debney says the state is considering changing the way people cast ballots all together. It’s not clear when or if it will happen.

He says it could change to a paper ballot that would be put into a machine that counts votes.

Another way would be similar to what's in place now with the touch screen ballots, but the ballot would print off and go into a scanner.

Debney says they've been pushing for early voter centers that could be located across the county where people could vote at any location that is most convenient for them.

Williams spent her birthday evening waiting in line.

“I told everyone on Facebook if you want to give me a gift come vote today,” Williams said. “It’s important. People fought for this right, so that’s why I’m out here. I don’t care how long I had to wait.”

However not everyone had the patience or time to wait with many walking away.

Debney says they always encourage people to vote and that people can consider participating in early voting or absentee voting

If you’d like to learn more about becoming a poll worker visit this site:

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