Some S.C. poll workers still not trained on new system days before election

With the General Election on Nov. 3 being one week away, the Virginia Democrats announced they...
With the General Election on Nov. 3 being one week away, the Virginia Democrats announced they have filed a lawsuit on the Richmond Voter's Registrar over absentee ballot issues.(NBC12)
Published: Oct. 29, 2020 at 9:44 AM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Some poll workers across South Carolina are still being trained to use the state’s new electronic poll books with just days to go before the general election, according to a spokesperson for the South Carolina Election Commission.

However, officials believe they have just enough time to get them ready to help voters navigate the new system on Nov. 3.

The e-poll books are supposed to make the voting process faster and more efficient. They will be used to look up voters at polling places, determine which ballot a voter should receive, and to record their participation in the election.

However, SCEC’s director of public information, Chris Whitmire, said implementation, preparation and poll manager training is still ongoing across the state.

“Some managers have been trained, some have not. There is at least one per precinct. That would be enough for a small precinct, but most would have two or more. Counties also have the option of using the previous system in a precinct if they feel they don’t have enough or if they feel like managers in the precinct haven’t been properly trained,” Whitmire said. “I am not aware of any at this point that are doing that. Counties are working hard to get managers trained on the new system. There’s not a lot of time, but there is enough time.”

Election officials in Berkeley County said all of their poll clerks have been trained to use the new electronic poll books, but many of the county’s other poll workers will be trained at each precinct on the morning of the election.

“It’s new technology, so we’re always prepared for hiccups with the new stuff. The training we’ve done, the poll workers have been really receptive to it. It’s really an intuitive piece of equipment. Folks really like it. It’s going to work quicker, better and easier for both the poll workers and voters than what we’ve used in the past,” Berkeley County Election Director Adam Hammons said.

Hammons said they are prepared to use the new equipment and have no plans to return to older equipment.

“We are going to send out the new poll books,” he said."We have plenty of them. If there is an issue, we can correct that on election day. There is always the paperless backup that each precinct will still have. So, if there is a problem or issue, something we can’t immediately correct, we do have a way voters can continue to be processed without being stuck waiting on a technician or something like that."

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