In-person absentee voting in the Upstate: Elections directors discuss ‘unprecedented’ turnout


SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – People have been reportedly coming out in droves for in-person absentee voting in the Upstate. Elections directors told 7 News, they’re seeing numbers like never before.

A packed parking lot at Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium Monday afternoon, voters trickled inside and waited for their chance to cast their absentee ballot.

“It’s going to be longer than 45 minutes and that’s okay,” said Spartanburg Resident, Elaine Jarrio.

“We got here and got in line around 3:08 so we’ve been here about an hour,” Spartanburg Resident, Samantha Link told us.

“We’ve been in line for 30 minutes and it looks like we’re about to get in line to vote,” said Spartanburg Resident, Shawna Simmons.

It’s a turnout Spartanburg County Registration and Elections Director Henry Laye told us he has never seen before.

“Through the first ten days of our in-person absentee voting at the auditorium, we’ve processed 14,000 voters. In 2016, we just processed a grand total over a month of 22,000 so we’re on record-setting pace,” said Director of Spartanburg County Registration and Elections, Henry Laye.

On top of that, Laye said voter registration has gone up between 5% and 10% in the county.

Long lines can be seen at many of the in-person absentee voting locations in the upstate. But for voters like Michelle Foster, she doesn’t mind the line or wait. She told us casting her vote is very important.

“I lost my son in Afghanistan so I feel like that me voting today is representing him,” said Spartanburg Resident, Michelle Foster.

Laye said the average wait time for voting at the Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium really depends on when you come. Adding, it could be as short as 25 minutes or closer to an hour or more.

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