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SC primary voting turnout light in Florence County, 'as expected'
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SC primary voting turnout light in Florence County, 'as expected'

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South Carolina Democratic Primary

A voter casts a ballot at the Leatherman Senior Center, the location of the Coles Cross Roads precinct.

FLORENCE, S.C. — David Alford, executive director of the Florence County Voter Registration and Elections Commission, said the turnout for South Carolina’s Deomocratic presidential primary election quieted down during the afternoon but was heavy in the morning at some precincts.

He said the turnout was light overall.

“Overall, the turnout is as expected,” Alford said.

A poll worker at the Gilbert precinct (Theodore Lester Elementary School) said her precinct had been busy throughout the day.

Another poll worker at Florence Ward 10 (Williams Middle School) said turnout was coming in spurts throughout the day.

A poll worker at the Spaulding precinct (North Vista Elementary School) said her precinct was slow, but she hoped it would be picking up.

Basketball tournament moves Florence precinct

A scheduling mix-up led to the relocation of a Florence precinct.

Florence Ward 11 was moved to the Barnes Street Recreation Center because of a basketball tournament being held at the Pearl Moore Basketball Center.

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A poll worker at the precinct told the Morning News that the basketball center had scheduled the tournament without realizing that the primary was to be held on the same Saturday.

The two facilities are a parking lot away from each other, and the location of the voting area was clearly marked with signs.

A voter who requested not to be identified asked the poll workers if the Barnes Street Recreation Center was the new voting location for the precinct and was told that the new location would be at the basketball center across the parking lot.

Florence Ward 11 is one of eight precincts in Florence County and 131 statewide that were voting at new locations in the 2020 primary.

Coward Wards 1 and 2 voting was held at the J.C. Lynch Elementary School at 124 Hicks Road; Ebenezer Ward 2 voting was held at the Ebenezer Baptist Church Youth Assembly Building at 524 S. Ebenezer Road; Florence Ward 3 voting was held at the R.N. Beck Center at 1001 W. Sumter St.; Florence Ward 5 voting was held at the same location; Gilbert voting was held at Theodore Lester Elementary School at 3501 E. Palmetto St.; and Savannah Grove voting was held at the Savannah Grove Baptist Church Fellowship Center at 2620 Alligator Road.

Polls in the 2020 South Carolina Democratic primary were set to close at 7 p.m. Those who were in line but had not yet voted by 7 p.m. will still be allowed to vote.

New voting machines

For many voters, Saturday’s primary was the first time using the state’s new voting machines.

Alford reported that voters seemed to love the new machines. Via text message, he included a heart emoji with his response.

Katherine Jones, a voter at Mars Bluff 1 (Wallace Gregg Elementary School), concurred, saying she found the new machines easy to use.

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Government and Politics Reporter

I cover the city of Florence, the county of Florence, the state legislative delegation of Florence County and surrounding areas, and the federal delegation representing the Pee Dee for the Morning News.

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