Grand Strand voters experience some frustrations while voting

Grand Strand voters experience some frustrations while voting

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - For Grand Strand residents who had trouble at the polls Tuesday, they were not alone.

WMBF News received messages from several viewers with concerns about the voting process.

Issues like long lines or busted machines are typical, but some problems actually kept some from voting entirely.

Some voters were told they could not vote on Tuesday because someone had already cast an absentee ballot under their name. That is something Horry County Voter Registration and Elections Department Director Sandy Martin said should never happen.

"Poll workers should have been checking the address to make sure," she said.

That wasn't the only confusion when it came to absentee voting.

"A lot of people called and requested ballots be mailed. When they got them, they decided they were going to throw them in the trash or just not vote them and go to the polls," Martin said. "Well when they got to the polling place, they're already marked off because once you receive a ballot, we mark you off."

Other issues involved the voting booths themselves.

"We're probably going to try and budget for some new ones, but you know money is an issue," Martin said.

Spokesperson Chris Whitmore, with the South Carolina Election Commission, said the current machines are due for an upgrade.

"We're looking at ways to extend the life of our current system, and that's replacing screens, and our touch screen voting machines, replacing mother boards, batteries, all of the things that tend to go bad on voting machines," he said.

Martin said another challenge was the number of people who came out to vote, many of whom hadn't been to the polls in 20 years.

"If they don't vote regularly, their voter registration doesn't stay active and they don't stay on the book and people don't realize that," Martin said. "They think once they registered, they registered forever, which they are. But if you don't vote in at least eight years, you're going to go out of the system."

State officials said they will look to completely revamp the voting system once the technology advances, which will hopefully be before the next presidential election.

Copyright 2016 WMBF News. All rights reserved.