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'We did everything in our power to ensure that her vote counted': Sumter residents resolve voting issues at county courthouse

The Voter Registration Office opened at 5:30 a.m. at the Sumter County Courthouse to help residents with last minute issues on Voting Day.

SUMTER COUNTY, S.C. — Poll workers in Sumter County say voting ran smoothly on Tuesday at the precincts. However, there have been a few minor issues for some residents. The Voter Registration Office opened starting at 5:30 a.m. to help with that.

Sumter resident Heather Brown tried to vote at her local precinct on Tuesday. When she scanned her driver's license, the system came back that she had voted early on Saturday. She said that was incorrect.

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"Well, I was very, very aggravated at first," Brown said. "I've always voted in person...and Saturday I was at home watching football all day, so definitely didn't go home that day."

To fix the problem, she called the voter registration office, which Director Patricia Jefferson says was the right move. 

"We want you to be mindful also, we have 58 precincts. So don't give up," Jefferson said. "Just wait. It's going to take a little time because we're taking calls from citizens, voters, and we also take calls from the poll workers, whenever they come in up with an issue."

Thomasina Holmes has been working at the polls since 1990. I spoke with her about voting at Willow Drive Elementary.

"Well there’s issues where people have been coming in with voter registration cards and their ID but for some reason, it’s that they did it at the highway department," Holmes said. "It didn’t roll over."

That happened to Thomas Courtney and his fiancée Brittany Gray. After her change of address didn’t register in time, they were initially told she couldn’t cast her vote. To resolve the issue, they went to the Sumter County Courthouse. 

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"Today, she and I, we did everything in our power to ensure that her vote counted because it means something," Courtney said.

The couple was able to head back to Willow Drive Elementary to cast their vote.

"My fiancée, she's an American citizen," Courtney said. "She has a right to vote. I spent 22 years of my life, risking my life so that she has that right. And I wasn't going to stop today until she had the ability to cast that vote."

Sumter resident Gerry Tony was also determined to cast his vote after running into issues at Lemira Elementary School. He hasn’t voted in more than four years, but this year he wanted his voice to be heard.

"It’s a big thing this year with crime, inflation, gas," Tony said. "The economy's really bad."

After visiting the courthouse, he says the issue is resolved and he can go cast his ballot.

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