Hitching a ride to the ballot box

Marge Cokley registers to vote Tuesday at the Sumter Street bus station. The deadline to register for next month's election is October 6.

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WACH) - If you want to vote in next month's election and you aren't registered yet, the clock is ticking.

The deadline to register is Saturday October 6, and one group in the Midlands is doing what it can to get as many people registered as possible by setting up in a high-volume area.

The South Carolina Progressive Network's "Missing Voter Project" helped get Marge Cokley registered on Tuesday at the Sumter Street bus station.

"Things are happening every day and we need to vote," said Cokley. "We need to vote."

The registration effort will be set up at the bus station for the rest of the week looking for unregistered riders among the high volume of people looking to go from point A to point B. They are also providing information about a ballot question that could raise Richland County's sales tax by a penny to pay for road projects and the area's struggling public bus system.

"Columbia's growing, it's a big metropolitan area and my goodness, what's going to happen should these services be curtailed," asked Tom Summers of the SC Progressive Network. "Really, it's very critical."

While it's clear Summers and the SC Progressive Network favors the penny tax, for a decade now their larger mission has been working to give people the power to vote.

While voter registration and turnout has improved in South Carolina over the last 20 years, there are still roughly 600,000 eligible voters who are not registered in the state.

"We're trying to give them the proper information about that kind of background and what they do need to vote," said Summers.

Workers were able to help more than 70 people either register to vote or with other registration issues on Tuesday.

It's something Marge Cokley won't take for granted as she works to make sure her vote means something.

"People haven't always had the right to vote," said Cokely. "It's good for the children. It's good for the grandchildren."

Click here for more information on how to register to vote online before Saturday's deadline.