Election Protectors to Monitor Voting Precincts

Preparations are underway in the Midlands to make sure the voting process goes as smooth as possible. News19's Lana Harris reports.

Columbia, SC (WLTX) - With Election Day just around the corner, preparations were underway in the Midlands to make sure the voting process is smooth.

"When I voted in 2012 in Richland County, I stood in line almost eight hours to vote," said Jennifer Tague, a Richland County voter. "It was the first year my son could vote, and he ended up not being able to vote because he had to go to work.  I don't want people to have the same experience," Tague said.

Tague went to the Election Protection Workshop in Columbia to become a precinct monitor.

"These are going to be people that are going to be roving in Richland county if the line is long or if the machine is down," said Brett Bursey, the executive director of the South Carolina Progressive Network who and the leader of the workshop.

Bursey encourages voters to call the 1-866-OUR-VOTE hotline with any issues at a voting precinct. By the end of the election, they will be able to analyze the issues phoned in at all of the precincts and work on them for the future.

"Our work is to improve the functionality, transparency, and the accessibility of democracy," Bursey said.

Those who signed up to be an election protector say they wanted to make sure everyone has the opportunity for their voice to be heard.

"I think it's our responsibility as Americans to make sure that the voting process, that our democracy, is real and that it's available for everybody," said volunteer Keitha Whitaker.

"This is one of those big important basics to our functioning democracy that I want to make sure is protected going forward," said Marcurious Byrd.

If you would like to be an election protector, representatives at the South Carolina Progressive Network tell us they will take all the help they can get. They say they have a lot of coverage in Richland but could use more volunteers in other areas of the Midlands. You can volunteer by emailing network@scpronet.com or by calling 803-808-3384.

(© 2016 WLTX)


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