After long lines in Chapin, Lexington Co. satellite voting speeds up in W. Columbia

Published: Oct. 27, 2020 at 7:35 PM EDT
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WEST COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - On Tuesday, hundreds of Lexington County voters braved long lines to vote absentee.

They went to the West Columbia Community Center Satellite Office and the County Elections Office in Lexington.

In expectation of the demand, the county elections office announced a series of temporary satellite offices in early October.

Voters could vote absentee in different parts of the county on select dates.

Monday, the satellite office at the Chapin Town Hall saw wait times of up to four hours.

Tuesday, the satellite office moved to West Columbia, and the situation improved.

Voter Bill Shockey said his wait was 45 minutes, and the line moved quickly.

“Everybody seems to be moving in and out, getting along pretty good so come on out America, let’s do it,” he said.

Voter Cindy Saylor said she had also been waiting 45 minutes, and said she didn’t mind.

“This is our right and it is our honor, and I think we should exercise it,” she said.

The satellite office did not appear to alleviate demand on the main Lexington County Elections Office.

The line wrapped around the building and voters reported a 90-minute wait-time.

Elections Director Mary Brack said the wait was expected, and the satellite offices have not changed the demand.

“This [main] office is still voting 13-14 hundred a day. So that’s in addition to, I don’t know if those people would have come up here or if they would have went to vote on election day. Our line keeps getting longer and longer every day,” she said.

Main office voter Frances Fontaine said time was a non-factor.

“I brought waters, I brought drink, I brought my cappuccino, I brought movies to watch on my phone, I’m prepared. I’ll stay all day long,” she said.

Curbside voting was available at both offices.

Brack said the line has been slowed because of people attempting to vote curbside who are not eligible.

Only voters with disabilities, who are not able to stand in line, are allowed to vote curbside.

The West Columbia Community Center Satellite Office will be open Wednesday, Oct. 28, and Thursday, Oct. 29, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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