Aiken County voters head to polls early to cast in person absentee ballot


AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – People in South Carolina rushed to the polls in Aiken County for in person absentee ballot voting.

Voters in a long line at one site said the wait to cast a ballot is upwards of one hour. But they also said they are voting early because Election Day may bring a longer wait.

Lyn Fleming, a voter in North Augusta, spoke with NewsChannel 6 while standing in line at the city’s community center. She told us why she voted early.

“I wanted to support my candidate because I was just afraid I might miss it if I didn’t vote early and I didn’t want to miss it,” she said.

Voters stood in a line wrapped around the North Augusta Community Center a week ahead of November 3. Many told NewsChannel 6 that they fear the wait will be worse on Election Day.

It’s why Brenda Cofer stood in line too.

“The line may be long and you know the things that are going on with them harassing people, I don’t want to be involved in any of that in case it happens,” she said. “I’m sure it won’t, but who knows.”

Several locations throughout Aiken County have in person absentee voting, including the following:

Odell Weeks Activity Center, 1700 Whisky Road, Aiken

North Augusta Community Center, 495 Brookside Avenue, North Augusta

Ridge Spring-Monetta High School, 1071 Trojan Road, Monetta, open until Wednesday, October 28

Wagener Volunteer Fire Department, 299 Park Avenue NE, Wagener, open until Thursday, October 29

The hours at each place are 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

It’s a good thing the Mealing family tried voting early. Alfred said he works November 3 and was able to cast his ballot, but his wife could not.

“I’m Edgefield County. But they said that if you did early vote it didn’t matter the county just as long as it was in the surrounding areas, but I guess so that’s not true,” said Kimberly Mealing, an Edgefield voter.

The Mealings and some others said the controversy in the 2020 race is no doubt pushing people to the polls in record numbers, early.

Frank Yarbrough, another North Augusta voter, said he traditionally votes on the conservative side and plans to do it again.

“Everybody is so divisive and emotional at the same time and media frenzy feeds into it, but it’s just good to see everybody get out and vote regardless,” he said.

In person absentee voting at Odell Weeks Activity Center and North Augusta Community Center goes through Friday.

You can find out more information here on the South Carolina Voting Information Page or here at SC Registration and Elections.

Photojournalist: Gary Hipps

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