YORK, S.C. (Rock Hill Herald) - About an hour after the York County voter registration office opened Monday morning, more than 100 residents had already cast their in-person absentee ballot for the 2020 election.
Monday marked the first day of absentee in-person voting in South Carolina, and the York County office got only busier throughout the day.
By 11:30 a.m., hundreds more had voted.
The parking lot was filled. The line of voters wrapped around the entire first floor of the York government building and extended outside. Voters had to wait about 45 minutes to an hour.
“We’ll be here for however long it takes,” Dawn Horner, from Rock Hill, told The Herald. “We vote every year.”
Horner said she and her husband will be in Florida on Election Day, so it was important they get their vote in. Horner and her husband ended up waiting about 30 minutes, but she said it was worth it as she felt more comfortable voting in person than by mail.
“It’s important to get your vote in this year,” Horner said as she grabbed an “I Voted” sticker.
Sherry Lorenz, from Fort Mill, also wanted to see her ballot cast in person, so she took the day off work to vote Monday. She said she waited about an hour.
“This is a very contentious voting this time and I think what I was worried about was my ballot wasn’t going to be counted or it was going to be thrown away,” she said.
Lorenz, who wore a red, white and blue scarf, said she’s glad she waited and feels confident her ballot was counted.
“I have a feeling my ballot is going to be OK,” she said.
Near the end of the line, Vivian Carothers and Annie Thompson had just arrived and had been waiting about 10 minutes. They weren’t shocked by how long the line was.
“It’s a long line now, but it will get longer the more you wait,” Carothers said.
They drove all from Lake Wylie and Hickory Grove to vote, and said they were willing to wait hours in that line to vote.
“I want my vote to be counted,” Carothers said. “I think the privilege to vote is most important.”
Thompson said this election is too important not to participate and she felt more at ease seeing her ballot cast in person.
“People have lost their lives to have this done and I want to honor those deaths, but most importantly, I want my vote to be counted,” she said. “This is my way of talking and having a voice.”
“And our voice needs to be head,” Thompson said.
The York County office will have two extension offices open for absentee in-person voting this election.
The Fort Mill extension office will open Oct. 12 at the Fort Mill Community Center, 1011 Talbot St. The Rock Hill extension office will open Oct. 14 at the Rock Hill Operations Office, 757 South Anderson Road.