RICHLAND COUNTY ELECTION MESS

A voter's voice: Wanda McKeever

November 23, 2012 

The wait was over four hours to vote at Rice Creek Elementary on Hard Scrabble Road in Columbia during election day Tuesday. Lines went down two hallways that fed into where the voting machines were located.

GERRY MELENDEZ — gmelendez@thestate.com Buy Photo

  • 5 key unanswered questions: Who was responsible for planning and implementing the election process? What does that plan say?
    How many voting machines were at each of the county’s precincts? What was the machine allocation plan based on?
    Why did machines at precincts not work? How many didn’t work and where were they?
    How many emergency machines were deployed and where? Which precincts received emergency technicians’ help?
    How did two styles of paper absentee ballots get printed?

Richland County voters endured horrifically long lines to vote Nov. 6, mostly, it appears, because there were not enough machines at polling places. Many left the polls without voting.

The county’s legislative delegation is holding a hearing Monday to determine what went wrong. The public may attend but will not be allowed to speak.

Here’s a voice of a frustrated voter on that very long day ...

Wanda McKeever got in line at Sanders Middle School at 4:15 p.m. after checking on the line two times earlier in the day. By 7:45 p.m., she was only halfway to the booths.

“I’ve been standing in line, calling the Election Commission. It took me an hour to get through. I had to leave a message, which they probably won’t return.”

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