Richland County, SC — I’m surprised at the attention Richland County voting is getting. It long has been understood that people in Richland County have a longer wait to vote than almost anywhere else in South Carolina. And election officials have repeatedly put their head in the sand about this problem.
These delays suppress the right of many citizens to vote. To ensure that all eligible voters get their fair chance to vote, this state needs to institute true early voting. If done correctly, this will allow more people the opportunity to vote. It may not decrease the number of voters wanting to vote on Election Day, but it most likely will increase the number of voters expressing their opinions with their votes. Lines will not be eliminated, but the wait should be cut down to a reasonable time.
Voting integrity should be ensured by obtaining machines that allow a true recount and paper trail. South Carolina is one of the few states still using machines that do not create a paper trail to allow a forensic recount. That is a violation of voter integrity and an affront to the voting public.
Election commissioners and their departments should be non-partisan. Voting is not a partisan right; it is an American right. Perhaps this belongs front and center in the next legislative session.