Lexington County voters headed to the polls Tuesday morning to cast ballots in the 2016 election quickly found they were not alone.
Many voters arriving at some of the county’s 96 polling places were greeted with lines before the 7 a.m. opening.
“We showed up at Hollow Creek Community Club, where we vote, at 6:45 (a.m.),” one voter said in an email to The State. “There were 100 yards of cars on both sides of the road, because (the) parking lot was full.”
That site is north of Gilbert, with some voters there living on the south shore of Lake Murray.
County election officials reported heavy turnout initially at some sites, particularly those with many commuters headed to work.
“We started with a big spike and had long lines at first,” said John Carrigg of Irmo, vice-chairman of the County Election Commission. “Turnout was heavy, but there was not extraordinary delays.”
But it would not be surprising if some voters waited nearly an hour to cast a early morning ballot, he said.
By around 11 a.m. Tuesday, 580 of the 2,910 registered voters in the Lexington 1 precinct had cast ballots. At the Irmo precinct, 852 of the 2,090 registered voters had cast ballots by about 11:40 a.m.
The Platt Springs No. 2 precinct oin Red Bank had 741 voters just after 1 p.m., out of 2,124 registered voters. Lines had been steady most of the morning.
By mid-afternoon at the staunchly Republican Whitehall precinct in St. Andrews, 931 people had cast ballots.
Poll manager Henry Butler said he expects turnout to reach about the typical 1,200 votes in a presidential election.
Whitehall has 2,304 registered voters, said Butler, who has worked that precinct since 1994.
Check back for updates on voting throughout the day. The polls close at 7 p.m.
Contributing: Staff writers Tim Flach and Clif LeBlanc, field reports
Roddie Burris: 803-771-8398