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Richland County poll workers react to late paychecks

Some poll workers in Richland County have yet to be paid for their work in the primary election run off.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — 55 days later and some poll workers haven't been paid. That's according to Terry Graham, the deputy director of the Richland County Elections Office. He says because of staffing issues, poll workers have not received paychecks.

"Poll workers didn’t get paid due to some unfortunate error that we made. We didn’t have someone, a backup, or a person to take on that role while that person was out sick, Graham said. "We didn’t get them paid, we dropped the ball."

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Terri Shupe was one of the poll workers that had to wait before getting her money from the summer. She says there was often miscommunication between the Election Office and poll workers. Because of that and the late paychecks, she now questions whether she or her coworkers will be back in November.

"I’m not shocked because they don’t want to deal with the workers," Shupe said. "I’m not sure I’m going to be working in November, that’s for sure. Yeah, there’s a lot of us that aren’t sure we’re going to be working."

There were some poll workers that told News19 they didn't have issues while working in Richland County. Susan Carson Lambert has worked three elections in the county and said most of the issues she faced were solved. 

RELATED: South Carolina sees dip in voter turnout for 2022 primary

"I cant complain about my end of things," Lambert said. "It was well organized from both the beginning to the end. People don’t do this for the money, they do this because they want to make a difference."

Graham said on Tuesday that incentives for poll workers in future elections could be $30 extra per day.

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