Upstate Poll Workers Erroneously Asked Voters Their Party Preference

Poll workers in two Greenville County precincts were asking voters this morning about their political party preference before sending them to a booth, which was unnecessary and not in keeping with General Election practices, but the issue has been resolved, the director of voter registration and elections said.

“For some reason my poll workers started to ask which political party are you with? And it doesn’t matter," Conway Belangia said. "The ballots are not separated by political party, but for some reason they were asking voters when they came in that.

"Once we got that straight in two of our 151 precincts, things have been pretty smooth."

That happened at the Eastland Baptist Church and Chestnut Hills polling places, he said.

Several of the computerized voting machines across the county wouldn't boot up and were either fixed or set aside, and voting continued without problems, Belangia said.

Also, in a few places, the laptop computers poll workers use to keep track of who has voted crashed, and workers reverted to using paper to keep track, he said.

Turnout has been heavy so far, Belangia said.

About 100 were in line at the Del Norte precinct voting at Brushy Creek Elementary School shortly after 8 a.m.

More than 150 people were line at Sevier Middle School on Piedmont Park Road in Greenville County at 7:40 a.m.

People began lining up at 6:40 a.m. at Brook Glenn Elementary, with the wait to vote running about 30 minutes.

Julie and Bob Gregory said they voted for Donald Trump because of capitalism, jobs, endless wars and fighting with Russia. They also cited Hillary Clinton's trustworthiness.

Wendy Jansen, head clerk at the poll, said turnout was "fabulous."

Chris Wilson, 33, said he voted for Libertarian Gary Johnson because he's not a fan of the big parties. He didn't consider it a protest vote or a lost vote. He said he was voting his beliefs and values.

About 100 people had voted at East North Street Academy by 7:45 a.m., with the wait time about 35 minutes.

A chilly morning greeted Anderson voters on Election Day but spirits were high and lines were moving.

Anderson resident Roger Nix arrived at 6:35 a.m. and found about 30 other voters already in line.

Once polls opened, the lines moved quickly.

"I was out in 10 minutes," Nix said. "It's very well organized and structured, and everybody's patient."

Nix declined to say who he voted for.

More than 100 people were waiting in line at McCants by 7:30 p.m. Poll officials said 150 voted in the first hour and that turnout could exceed 2,000 in a 3,000-vote precinct.

Thousands across the Upstate are heading out to make their voices heard over who will lead the nation for the next four years, and to choose candidates for local and state offices.


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