Columbia, SC – South Carolina voter turnout was approximately 10 percent higher yesterday than in the 2000 presidential election cycle. The high turnout created long lines at some polling places, but the state election system ran smoothly throughout the day. The last polling location, at Rice Creek Elementary School in Richland County, closed at approximately 10:30 p.m. Tuesday.
“The turnout was fantastic – approximately 70 percent of registered voters cast ballots – and we thank every voter for their patience and participation.” said Marci Andino, executive director of the South Carolina State Election Commission. “There were some temporary delays at a few polling locations, which is not surprising given the turnout and all the new procedures we were implementing, but overall the voting process worked very well. Our poll workers did a great job. ”
Andino said that approximately 5,000 new electronic touch screen voting machines were used in 15 South Carolina counties yesterday and no significant problems were reported.
“We are particularly pleased with how the new voting machines performed,” Andino said. “This was our first time actually using the machines in the field and, while we learned some lessons that will allow us to enhance future poll worker training, the machines were very well received by voters and performed exactly as designed.”
Andino noted that the 15-county voter education program launched by the Election Commission to teach voters how to use the new equipment appeared to have had a significant impact, as many voters came to the polls already knowing how to use the new equipment.
She also said that the detailed paper audit trail provided by the new electronic touch screen voting machines provided county and state election workers with precise voting activity details, demonstrating that an accurate recount could be conducted easily should such an even become necessary in future elections.
Andino said County Election Commissions will finish tabulating election results Friday, and the South Carolina State Election Commission will then certify the final results.