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Poll worker credits updates to computer system for shorter voting wait times

Published: Nov. 2, 2021 at 6:33 PM EDT
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - Many voters said their voting experience this year was much smoother, compared to past elections and a poll worker is shedding some light on one reason why.

Nearly 200 people showed up before noon at the Claire Chapin Epps Family YMCA to cast their vote. Shortly after, that number bumped up to over 300 voters, hours before the 7 p.m. voting deadline.

Clerk Paul Dillon said they have five poll workers total at the YMCA location assisting voters. He said his team didn’t miss a beat with getting those residents in and out the door in a speedy and organized manner.

Dillon said thanks to updates to the computer system, the voting process is a bit smoother and faster for both the election team and voters.

“We had a small glitch this morning, but with the new computer system right now everything’s good,” Dillon said. “The state bought us all this new equipment a year ago. It’s excellent. We don’t have to touch anything. They just give us their license, we scan it, they’re in the book, they go in they go vote. The whole process, the way it’s going today, it takes less than seven minutes. People are coming in and right out because of all the new system that we have.”

Dillon said his team did face some challenges related to residents who showed up eager to cast their vote at the Claire Chapin Epps Family YMCA.

“There’s a slight problem here because we are right here on the boundary of the city and the boundary of Horry County,” Dillon said. “We’ve probably had at least ten people we couldn’t let them vote because they don’t live in the city. That’s the biggest problem we have. Here, we’re on the borderline of the city of Myrtle Beach and you go two blocks away and you’re in Horry County. We see that through the computer system. So we have to explain to the voter you can’t vote. How they’re confused is because they come here for the national and state elections and that’s fine. But now for the city election [it’s different] because the boundary line is right here on this building and one street over. It’s close.”

Dillon said those who weren’t able to vote did understand why after he explained to them they didn’t live within the city limits.

Overall, he said he’s excited to see people showing up to vote.

“The most important thing is people are coming to vote,” Dillon said. “That is important, that’s what we want to see.”

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