GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – Some voters would argue that this is one of the most important elections of our time. The economy needs rebuilding and virus concerns are still at an all time high. The next president will determine how the rest of the pandemic will impact the nation.
Momentum was high at the Greenville County Election Office on Monday for the first day of in-person absentee voting.
Hundreds of people stood in line to cast their ballot. Officials told 7 News by 11 a.m. over 128 ballots were casted.
Absentee voting started at 8:30 a.m. but some people showed up as early as 6 a.m. Jean Marie Tankersley, a Greenville voter, said she arrived at 9 a.m. and was still waiting after 11 a.m.
“It was a little bit slow to start probably because it was early in the morning and they were just getting started. It picked up and we made friends in line and the company has been great so it hasn’t felt bad,” Tankersley said.
Conway Belangia, director for the Greenville County Elections Office said they were having small software issues with the new ballot system provided by the state that have since been ironed out. He biggest hold-up that caused about a two and a half hour wait for some is the large turnout coupled with their COVID-19 restrictions.
“The biggest problems we have is with lines and the number of people and COVID-19. We can only put so many people in there, so those are bigger issues than software,” Belangia said.
The goal for many voters was to avoid the crowds and make room for those planning to vote in person on November 3rd.
“I have rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia and I don’t know what my body will be like on November 3rd. Where I’m kind of feeling okay today and I wanted to come on out and get an early vote,” Delisa Burnside, a Greenville voter, said.
Voters came prepared with lawn chairs and stools hoping to withstand with long wait.
Those voting in-person absentee in the coming weeks will wait in line to go inside the building, fill out an application and then cast their ballot all at once.
For those voting absentee by mail the deadline to apply for a ballot is October 24th and can be requested online. Those who have received their absentee ballot by mail, filled it out, signed it and want to turn it into the election office can avoid the long line by simply entering the building going to a separate station.
Voters said they’ve been waiting on this day for the past 4 years.
“I feel like I’ve been waiting my life for this vote at least for the past three or four years now and I want to make it easier for those who can only vote on November 3rd,” Tankersley said.
In-person absentee voting ends Nov 2nd at 5pm. Voting for the General Election in-person will begin on November 3rd from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.