Charleston County suffers voting problems on Election Day (SC)
Live 5 News. November 5, 2008. By Marika Kelderman
NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Three main issues plagued the election process this time around. The most visible of course, wait times at some poll locations. The Chairman of the Board of the Charleston County Election and Voter Registration Commission admits voter turnout in some areas was under estimated like at Joseph Floyd Manor downtown where some waited in line for five hours.
"We try to give as many polling machines to the location where we think we are going to have a high turnout. Normally, that precinct is not a high turnout. We did send some more machines down there to Floyd Manor once we discovered they had lines," Dan Martin said.
What anxious voters weren't seeing Tuesday night were the results for some local races. Martin says there was an error with the machine that automatically reads the electronic votes. The commission instead decided to enter the information into the system manually, a process that took more than 6 hours.
"We had to make a decision and the decision was we will input the data manually. We will have accurate data. We will be much slower than any other county in the state. I would rather be slow but accurate than to be fast and maybe make mistakes," Martin said.
Finally the number of paper absentee ballots that had to be counted, 17,000 total, dramatically slowed the results process.
"We had some absentee ballots that were damaged. When they go through the machine the machine is very sensitive so it would not read those," Martin said.
He believes the Charleston County Election Commission was prepared Tuesday night but maybe not as prepared as he wanted them to be.