People flock to the polls for early voting in Florence County

Florence County election officials explain safety precautions at the polls

FLORENCE, S.C. (WMBF) - All day Monday, voters packed the parking lot and waited in line at the Florence County Voter Registration and Election Office.

Florence County Director of Elections, David Alford, said he wasn’t at all surprised by the number of people who turned out for early voting.

Alford said they’ve seen record numbers of mail-in voters and early voters in Florence County.

Poll workers at the election office answered questions and assisted voters while wearing masks, gloves and face shields.

Voters who waited in line separated themselves six feet to practice social distancing.

“It’s been a very, very busy time here at the office with in-person absentee,” said Alford. “It seems as if people are trying to adhere to the social distancing, but when it gets to a point like this with everyone crowding in at the last minute, it’s pretty difficult, but we are doing our best.”

Since the beginning of May, poll workers have been training on COVID-19 precautions.

“We’ve been training our poll workers with COVID provisions and tools and mechanisms to help them. Face masks, gloves, we’ve got sanitizing material, paper towels going out to the precincts. We’re as prepared as we can be," said Alford.

Early voter Jennifer Green said she wouldn’t be able to vote on Tuesday, so she wanted to take care of it on Monday.

Green said she was surprised to see the number of people early voting at the election office Monday morning, but she was pleased to see so many people take part in the election process.

She felt like the poll workers took the proper precautions to maintain social distancing.

“I think a lot of precautions are being made with social distancing, I see a lot of people here with masks on so I believe they are taking the COVID seriously and not taking it lightly. Still knowing the importance of everything going on it’s still important that we come out here and vote,” said Green.

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