Spartanburg County provides voting informationPublished 7:50pm Thursday, October 4, 2012
Editor’s note: Spartanburg County Voter Registration & Elections officials submitted the following information about the upcoming election for Landrum, Campobello and other area Spartanburg County registered voters.
What to expect on Election Day
Nov. 6, 2012 is almost upon us. Millions of voters will go the polling locations to vote their choice of candidates for various offices. 2012 is a presidential election year, and typically more voters turn out to vote than in non-presidential elections.
What can Spartanburg County voters expect to encounter in this year’s general election? Based on the 2008 turnout of 110,000 plus voters, we can once again expect large crowds, and in many cases long wait times. In an attempt to alleviate those lines and wait times experienced in 2008, we have added six new precincts to reduce the lines at some locations; we have changed polling locations at others to provide more space for voters, and we have tried to inform voters to register on time, and more importantly to update their registrations if they have moved since they last voted.
We have more poll managers than in 2008, but we still fall short of the numbers we need to make our voting process more efficient. And our hats are off to those citizens who serve as poll workers… theirs is a long, hard day. We will also be deploying significantly more voting machines than in 2008.
So, what can a voter do to decrease wait times and make the voting process more efficient? Think about the time you went to the polls in 2008 – was it very crowded? If so, try another time slot to go vote. Most voters like to vote prior to going to work, during lunch or after work. We cannot predict the most crowded times, unfortunately.
A voter should also be prepared to vote by knowing the offices, candidates and issues in advance of casting their ballot.
The single biggest obstacle to a speedy process remains those voters who simply do not bother to update their residential addresses (or names if married or divorced). Redistricting occurred this year, and we mailed almost 100,000 cards to voters who were impacted by the redistricting. We have had thousands of voter cards returned to us in the last couple of months as undeliverable. Those voters are going to cause delays at the polling location because they did not update their registration information. They may even be at the wrong precinct because of their move. Or the political districts could have changed which could affect his candidate choices.
Also, the voter registration forms clearly state that identification must be provided at the time of registration. Many, many people register by mail and do not provide that ID. When they show up to vote, the poll worker will see a code by that voter’s name which requires them to show not only their voter registration card but they must also produce an ID in order to vote – this can also slow the process down.
When a voter shows up and needs to change an address, the poll workers have to take the time to process the change or even call the Voter Registration Office, and the increased phone calls jam the communication system and slow down the entire line of voters while the change is processed. Those changes may even put a voter in another precinct. We expect long wait times specifically because of wrong addresses. The voter has the responsibility to provide their current information.
Saturday, Oct. 6 is the last day to register to vote. Check your voter registration information and be prepared to vote on Nov. 6.
– article submitted by Henry M. Laye III