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'Everyone is so efficient in there': Sumter County polls have short lines due to low voter turnout rates

Polls were open for Sumter County residents to cast their ballots for board candidates in four school districts and for City Council Ward One.

SUMTER COUNTY, S.C. — Runoff elections took place in Sumter County Tuesday for City Council Ward One and four different Sumter school district board members. 

Charles Moore has been working for the County Election Commission for two decades.

"Typically a runoff election is slower, and that’s about the way it’s been running. It’s slow," Moore told me.

Director of Voter Registration Patricia Jefferson said usually, she’s hearing from voters or poll workers with questions or issues at the polls.

"But today, we were having to call the precinct to find out whether they were all open," Jefferson said. "But of course, all 26 polling locations was open and on time. Thank God we were able to get them all staffed and running swiftly." 

Despite the slow turnout, volunteers were still counting absentee ballots and at every precinct, they have poll workers like Evelyn Pierson.

"I love the people, you know, interacting with different types of individuals," she said.

Pierson was at the North Hope Center alongside Wayne Russ. The pair are there to help and Russ said very few voters came by.

"This runoff, probably because it’s close to the holidays," Russ shared. "Thanksgiving is right around the corner."

For voters like Ramona Lies, the low turnout isn’t something to complain about.

"No line. Nothing. Took me like four minutes," she said about her voting experience. "It was awesome. It was very quick too. And everyone is so efficient in there."

Jefferson said that efficiency was all the more reason to cast a ballot before polls closed.

"Don’t let us down and don’t let the candidates down," Jefferson cautioned. "Just get out and go to your polling location and vote."

"It’s important to get the candidate that you think will do the best job in office," Lies shared. "I wanted to make sure that my vote was counted because I’m very serious about being represented the way I want to be represented."

According to Jefferson, 974 residents submitted their ballots during the early voting period.

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