COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - An unexpectedly high voter turnout and a shortage of poll workers were some factors that played into a chaotic primary election day in Richland County on June 9.
Other counties in the Midlands had results in a few hours after polls closed at 7 p.m. in South Carolina.
But in Richland County, votes were still being counted into the early morning hours. That’s partly because some voters were still waiting in line to cast their ballots at 11 p.m.
Election officials blamed that issue on volunteer poll workers backing out at the last minute.
Officials also admitted to WIS that some of their workers were not properly trained and some of them made mistakes.
Around 11 p.m. on election night, WIS talked to county election officials about the issues they faced with combining precincts and more. (Watch video above.)
Dr. Charles Austin, the Richland County Election Board Chair, thanked voters for their patience at the polls. He also thanked poll workers.
He said he was frustrated to hear some voters in line say they wanted to volunteer as a poll worker, but were told Richland County didn’t need any more people.
When asked about the District 8 County Council race possibly being left off some voters’ ballots in District 8, Austin said the board would look into it.
“Someone did mention that to me,” he said. “I’m unaware of that. But as we meet tomorrow that’s one of the issues that we will certainly investigate.”
WIS is following up with election officials Wednesday to pinpoint what went wrong and how it may be corrected in the future.
When all the votes in the state were tallied, the SC Election Commission said voter turnout was 22.72%. For an election amid a global pandemic, the turnout was much higher than expected.
In 2018, turnout for the South Carolina primary was 20.4% and in 2016 it was 13.82%.
This year the state also saw a record-high number of people voting by absentee ballot.
Most of the statewide results have been finalized, though some races are still too close to call in Richland County.
Check out the WIS Election Results page for the latest numbers.
These results are preliminary until they are certified by election officials.
NOTE: When on the Election Results page -- switch between the “Statewide Races” and “Local Races” in the drop-down menu at the top of the page to see more race results.
On the Election Results page, one may search for a specific candidate or race title, as well.
Below is a list of all the races for which WIS will have the results. Next to the race title is a (D) or (R) noting whether it was part of the Democratic or Republican primary ballot.
- Republican primary with three challengers taking on incumbent Sen. Lindsey Graham
- District 1 (R)
- District 2 (R)
- District 3 (D)
- District 5 (D)
- District 7 (D)
- District 64 (D)
- District 64 (R)
- District 75 (D)
- District 80 (D)
- District 88 (R)
- District 95 (D)
- District 96 (R)
- District 18 (R)
- District 20 (R)
- District 22 (R)
- District 36 (D)
- Clarendon Co Coroner (D)
- Clarendon Co Probate Judge (D)
- Kershaw Co Council Dist 1 (R)
- Lee Co School Board Dist 3 (D)
- Lee Co School Board Dist 7 (D)
- Lexington Co Council Dist 5 (R)
- Lexington Co Council Dist 6 (R)
- Lexington Co Sheriff (R)
- Newberry Co Council Dist 1 (R)
- Newberry Co Council Dist 2 (R)
- Newberry Co Council Dist 4 (R)
- Orangeburg Co Council Dist 3 (D)
- Orangeburg Co Council Dist 4 (D)
- Orangeburg Co Council Dist 5 (D)
- Orangeburg Co Sheriff (D)
- Richland Co Council Dist 2 (D)
- Richland Co Council Dist 7 (D)
- Richland Co Council Dist 8 (D)
- Richland Co Council Dist 9 (D)
- Richland Co Council Dist 10 (D)
- Richland Co Coroner (D)
- Richland Co Sheriff (D)
- Saluda Co Council Dist 2 (R)
- Saluda Co Council Dist 4 (R)
- Saluda Co Sheriff (D)
- Sumter Co Coroner (D)
- Sumter Co Council Dist 1 (D)
- Sumter Co Council Dist 5 (D)
- Graham campaign shifts focus to November showdown with Harrison after GOP Primary win
- SC House District 88 race bound for runoff after no candidate earned majority vote in June 9 primary
- Hand-written ballots, 90-degree heat, long lines: Voter turnout in Richland County bigger than expected
- Election commissioner says voting locations in Richland Co. need more poll workers