ELECTION DAY: Modest-sized crowds show up at Richland County polling places

COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO) — Tuesday was Election Day for voters heading to the polls for the primaries. 

However, with two weeks of early voting, how was the voter turnout?

Not too many people have shown up to polling locations throughout Columbia, but inside volunteers were helping residents to get their votes cast.

“Got an email from my HR department saying that the election commission was looking for poll workers. I decided to jump in and do my civic duty,” said Marcella Forrest, Ward 9 poll manger.

Forrest has been helping out with Election Days for a few years and says the crowds were a little smaller at Ward 9 Tuesday.

“Today has been a little slow. I think the rain might have something to do with it,” the poll manager said. “Typically around lunchtime is when we get a rush and in the afternoons.”

She gave this advice to any voter coming out to Prince Hall Masonic Lodge or any of the around 150 polling locations in Richland County. 

“Bring an ID, drivers license, military ID, or voter registration card. Know who’s on the ballot,” Forrest said. “You may want to go online to look at a sample ballot so you can be familiar with the people you can cast your vote for today.”

Columbia resident Michael Gauthreaux says he had looked at a sample ballot and researched candidates before going out to vote.

“Oh yes, absolutely. How do you know who to vote for? I vote on the people, their policies and stances,” Gauthreaux said.

He adds that he is a regular on Election Day at Ward 12’s Hand Middle School. He encourages others to find their polling location and vote. 

“I always vote. I don’t miss votes,” Gauthreaux said. “They’re important. Many, many issues always get me out to vote. We are a diverse country with a lot of different ideas. I’ve always said, ‘If you don’t vote, you can’t complain.’”

He also was curious about the voting process and says he is pleased with the way votes are cast and counted.

“I don’t know how long it’s been the way it is now, so I asked questions about that,” Gauthreax said. “Since 2018, what I did not realize was that when you vote, it’s digital. It’s printed digitally, but when it’s printed, there’s a paper backup. I was glad to hear that.”

Voters have had the past two weeks to vote early thanks to new legislation passed here in South Carolina.

Polling locations closed Tuesday evening at 7.


Categories: Local News, Richland