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Potential issues at Richland County polls in November

With election day two months away, there's a shortage of poll workers, and voting machines could be at risk of being damaged due to where they're being stored.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The Richland County Board of Elections had a meeting Wednesday to talk about all things poll related 61 days before November 8.

To kick off the meeting, the board revealed issues with voter registration cards.

"The state sent out cards that have incorrect information, people's addresses are wrong, their race, date of birth, and there are on thousands of cards," explained Voter Registration manager, Elaine Pilot.

Despite the misprinted cards, the board reassures residents that they will still be able to vote.

RELATED: Did you get a voter registration card in the mail? Here's what to know

"The information we have in our system is correct so everything should be fine, people should be able to vote with no issue," Pilot said.

The board then moved on to discuss elections systems which may see issues again this year.

"There was a leak in the warehouse, we were very fortunate that it was over the DS200s which are in cases. It was pretty bad, there was a big area of the floor that was soaking wet and it was pretty much in the middle of the warehouse," said Election Systems manager, Christina Frye.

However voting machines have had a history of issues in Richland County before, with battery issues in 2012, and a lack of machines and workers in 2020, both causing major delays at the polls.

Terry Graham, the Interim Director of the Elections Board, says workers will test the machines to make sure everything is working before the election.

"Our testing will start, I believe, on October 21," Graham stated. "We will test all of the machines to make sure if they have to be used that they are working properly."

RELATED: Richland County Board of Elections appoints interim director, concerns remain

The board of elections says the leak at the warehouse where the voting machines are stored will hopefully be addressed by Friday, September 9.

Despite the leak, Graham says the bigger issue will be staffing at the polls.

"We have 3,000 workers on the books, but some are aging out of poll working or just don't want to do it anymore. We need about 1,500 poll workers ideally, but at least 1,200 to make sure they are functioning adequately."

The registration deadline to be a poll worker is at the end of the month on September 30. 

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