Some Lowcountry voters had to stand in line for hours on Election Day just to get into the voting booth.
“They were waiting in lines for up to three and a half to four hours,” said Millicent Traeye Middleton, the president of a local democratic canvassing group. She said she saw the long lines in the afternoon and evening while driving voters to polling locations on Tuesday.
Officials in Charleston County said that the issue was that several poll workers who were supposed to work at the polls never showed up.
“We anticipated a presidential election turnout,” said Joseph Debney, the executive director of the Charleston County Board of Elections and Voter Registration. “We also recruited throughout the year for poll workers and as we were getting closer to the end, poll workers would either drop out… we had some on Election Day drop out at St. John’s High School.”
The Board of Elections and Registration asked about 1,000 people to work as poll workers, prior to the election. 580 responded initially. The board continued contacting people up through the day of the election.
Debney said steps are being taken to improve the voting process.
“We never in any way want people to be discouraged from voting. And so, there are different things that we’re working on to try to make sure that process gets better and one of the ways is to recruit those folks who have had to wait a long time,” he said.
To learn more about becoming a poll worker in Charleston County, visit the county’s website.