Satellite polling locations for in-person absentee voting open in Greenville County

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GREENVILLE COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA)- Four satellite locations to vote in-person absentee opened in Greenville County Monday.

Lines moved slowly as voters waited to cast their ballots Monday.

“We’re talking about an hour and 45 minutes so far to get to the door,” said Travelers Rest resident George Turmon.

In September, Gov. Henry McMaster signed a bill into law that allows everyone in the state to vote absentee because of the current state of emergency due to the pandemic.

“This gives us the opportunity to kind of spread out, and come when I’m more comfortable in a smaller group,” said Greer resident Scott Carlson.

The four satellite locations opened Monday in Greenville, Greer, Simpsonville and Travelers Rest, in addition to the in person absentee voting already underway at County Square.

“I understand that there are two and three hour waits in Simpsonville and in Travelers Rest and maybe even Greer…two hours in Greer maybe,” said Conway Belangia, who is the director of elections in Greenville County.

Elections officials said the reason is a slow process to check-in each voter one by one, with just a single computer processing them at polling locations. It takes about four minutes. That adds up when there are 40 people in line.

Belangia said they’re working to add equipment to speed up the process.

“A laptop, a printer, to do better qualifying because our response time on the computers with the state’s hook up has been extremely slow,” he said.

Belangia said a big turnout has also strained their resources, with 1,448 voting absentee in the county Monday. 808 of them cast their ballots at the satellite locations.

He said there wasn’t anything officials could really do to speed up the process.

“I mean keep in mind, this is a new process for us and you know a new venture…but you know I’m stretched to the hilt right now with you know, not only hardware but people,” he said. Β 

Spartanburg County also has a satellite location for in person absentee voting at Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium. 

In addition to absentee in-person voting at County Square, absentee in person voting will take place from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday through October 30 at the following locations:

Simpsonville Activity and Senior Center: 310 West Curtis Street Simpsonville, SC 29681

Mt. Pleasant Community Center (Annex building): 710 South Fairfield Rd, Greenville, SC 29605

Travelers Rest: Renfrew Church 951 Geer Hwy Travelers Rest, SC 29690

Greer: Tryon Recreation Center 226 Oakland Ave. Greer, SC 29650

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