Horry County elections office asking for more funding ahead of 2020 election

Grand Strand

CONWAY, SC (WBTW)- The Horry County elections office asked for more funding and staff to ahead of the 2020 election.

Horry county Elections Director Sandy Martin asked Horry County Council for more funding this week.
She said they’ve been understaffed for years, and hopes this will be their lucky year as they prepare for a record setting election in 2020.

The Horry County Election Commission said it needs three additional staff members citing growth as a factor

“Based on other counties in the state, that are our size we are way understaffed and with the increase in registration all over the county we need more staff to keep up,” said Sandy Martin.

The cost for all three positions is nearly $120,000. Director Sandy Martin also asked county council for an increase in poll workers pay. Martin said the state pays the poll workers salaries, with a $25 supplement from the county. She asked the county to up that to $50.

“It’s a long day for them, they work hard, and also maybe to help us to recruit new people,” said Martin.

For a big election, there are typically 800 workers in the county. Martin said they had 51 percent voter turnout for the past midterm elections, and at one point all voting machines at two different locations were down.

Malfuncting voting machines is a county and statewide issue. Lawmakers proposed legislation to buy new voting machines with a paper audit trail to increase confidence in state elections. The state currently has more than 1,300 voting machines

Martin said they expect to have new system in place by January 1st, 2020.

“It’s going to be a big under taking to deploy a new voting system in a presidential election year so we’re going to need all the people we can get,” said Martin.

County council will discuss Martin’s request during its spring budget retreat.

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