Horry County officials working to prevent voting issues

Grand Strand

CONWAY, SC (WBTW)- The Horry County Elections office saw long lines Monday when it came to absentee ballots. Election officials said they’re expecting an above average turnout for this midterm election.

Horry County has seen voting machine problems in the past. Horry County Elections director, Sandy Martin said machines have been delivered to precincts and are sealed up and put in secure locations. Officials will check each machine at all 124 precincts. 

The Horry County Elections office says more than 11,300 ballots have been issue and more than 7,000 people have voted in the office since October 8th.

“If it was a presidential election, it would pretty much be on target but 2014, for the last governor’s election we voted less than 4,900 so it’s well above average,” said Horry County Elections Director, Sandy Martin.

Horry county voting machines have had issues in the past. During the 2016 primaries, some machines went down due to power issues. This past June, during local races, 8 machines had battery issues causing 300 votes to be unaccounted for and recount to take place. 

“They’re computers, weather affects them, people’s fingers, and oil in their fingers, they make the calibration go bad. That’s why we have our rovers,” said Martin.

Rovers are precinct technicians who are trained county employees.

“We send them out on election day to change batteries or whatever issues we may have, if they need calibrating or the screens need cleaning,” said Martin.

Horry County Elections Director Sandy Martin said one issue with the machines is their age. The county has been using the same machines since 2004, and hopes to get new ones for the next election in 2020.

“The state actually purchased the system that we have now and will be purchasing the new system with federal grant money,” said Martin.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, November 6th. 

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