81
      Saturday
      85 / 70
      Sunday
      84 / 74
      Monday
      87 / 69

      Voters wait several hours in Richland County

      People waiting to vote at Pinehurst Elementary.

      COLUMBIA, S.C. (WACH,AP) -- Voters are waiting as long as four hours in Richland County, as GOP and Democratic party leaders complain of broken machines amid an expected record turnout.

      Party officials say waits are by far the worst on Tuesday in the county that is home to the state capital.

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      Wait times depend on the precinct, with some lines even in Richland County reportedly moving smoothly.

      The leaders of both parties cite broken voting machines. State Democratic Party Chairman Dick Harpootlian also says machines aren't adequately distributed among the precincts.

      GOP Chairman Chad Connelly blames a combination of poor planning and inefficiencies, with some workers processing voters faster than others.

      Voters at Dutch Fork Middle School waited up to five hours Tuesday morning. Seven of their 10 voting machines stopped working. Other voters at Pontiac Elementary School had to wait almost seven hours after they were down to one machine.

      Voter Albert Godown said he was very frustrated.

      "Think of all the employers that allowed people to take time off so they could vote. Here we have hundreds of people waiting four hours. If this were Disneyworld on a holiday, and half the rides were down, whoever ran Disneyworld would lose their job."

      Richland County Elections Spokeswoman Stephany Snowden said this election resulted in a record turnout, and admitted that there were some issues they promise to fix.

      "I know our citizens are frustrated and they should be. Today is the day to get people voted to try to minimize those frustrations. Tomorrow we will start asking the tough questions which is:should we have changed our processes and what do we need to do going forward?"

      The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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