Richland County, SC — Voting in Richland County during this recent election was a disgrace. I have voted in Richland County for the past 30 years (at a variety of precincts and using a variety of technologies) and have never seen such a fiasco.
It was without question voter suppression through incompetence. The day got off to a bad start when there was no one available to unlock the church to allow the poll workers in, and it went downhill from there. After numerous complaints from voters weary from three-plus-hour waits, the poll manager said they had never before had so few voting machines (and one or two of these weren’t working).
There is no excuse for such a horrible performance from the Richland County Elections and Voter Registration office. It had two years to get ready. Those responsible should be relieved from their duties. Also, the county should purchase additional voting machines, and staff should be trained to repair the machines that malfunction.
If something isn’t done, I and everyone else I’ve spoken to plan to vote by absentee ballot in the future. If most voters do this, the remaining voters will enjoy a reasonable wait at the polls, and the pain will be felt by the elections office, where it rightfully deserves to be experienced.