Low turnout expected for runoff election

By: Gene Petriello Email
By: Gene Petriello Email

News 12 at 6 o'clock, Oct. 2, 2007

SC SENATE DISTRICT 25---Polls were open on Tuesday in South Carolina for a Senate District 25 Special Runoff Election between Shane Massey and Bill Hixon.

But it's been a pretty quiet day for the poll workers at Nancy Carson Library. That's where most people are coming in to return books rather than vote in the 9th Precinct. The money being spent per vote today is a lot more than it could be.

George Shaw knew Bill Hixon in Kindergarden. But when George went to cast his ballot on Tuesday, he was turned away.

"Mr. Shaw I'm sorry you won't be able to vote today because you are in Senate District 24. This is Senate District 25's runoff election."

How does George feel about this?

"Outrageous. Why should my tax money be going to pay for a poll to be open?"

Just how much money is being spent on each vote? News 12 looked at Aiken County and broke down the numbers for you. It costs $250 to keep the Nancy Carson Library Polling Site open. And around $300 for each other the other 24 polling places. In Aiken County, 2300 people voted in the primary election two weeks ago. If that many people vote in Tuesday's runoff, each vote would cost $3.28. Compare that to only 38 cents if every registered voter -- 26,000 in all -- voted.

Only 5 people can vote at Nancy Carson Library. That's $50 per vote IF all 5 people voted. That means poll workers like Beatrice have to find some other way to pass the time.

How many books do you think you could finish today? Beatrice says, "3 or 4 I guess."

Here's Charles. He's working at the same polling place.

"A lot of these places the county has to rent and by not showing up, it is a waste of money," says Charles.

In non-municipal elections, state law does not allow one precinct to combine with another.


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