Every vote counts and it is every citizen’s right to vote in any election. On Tuesday, Nov. 5, is the General Election for mayor and three seats on city council and the special election for the unexpired seat that has two candidates vying for the spot.
Voters will visit their assigned precinct in Loris to find the new ballot system. The easy to use touch screen voting along with a secure paper record is for a secure verification of votes cast. There are four steps. After verification a poll worker will provide a blank ballot card. The card will be fed into a slot where the voting screen is. A poll worker may assist with inserting the card, but will leave when the vote is being cast. Step two is to place your vote on the screen where the selections will be highlighted and checked. If choosing a write-in candidate select the option, a screen will appear with a keyboard on the screen; type in the full name and touch the option ‘select’ on the screen.
There is also a zoom in icon on the screen to make the ballot larger and a contrast icon can be selected to change to high contrast white on black. Select the ‘next’ icon to move onto the next content. Step three is after completing the last page, touch ‘next’ to review the selections made. At this time the machine will notify the voter if they have selected fewer or more candidates allowed. This provides the voter to review again their vote and continue. Again select the ‘next’ icon and a screen appears with the ‘print card’ icon found at the bottom of the screen.
The printed ballot is then returned to the voter. Step four gives another opportunity to review the selected candidates on the printed ballot card. If a change is required the poll manager will provide a replacement ballot card. Once finished and the voter is satisfied with their choices they will take the ballot card to the scanner and insert it face down on the green arrow. Here is where poll workers will assist in directing voters where to place their paper ballot. The scanner counts the vote and dispenses the ballot card into a secured locked ballot box. The voting process is complete and the voter can get their “I Voted” sticker and leave.
The reasons for a new voting system are to create a paper record of every ballot adding a more secure and accurate account of the votes cast. Paper ballots are used to verify election results creating an additional layer of security to the South Carolina elections. Using this voting system prevents over-votes, selecting more candidates than allowed or fewer votes than allowed. A warning is given to voters to notify them of a possible error of having selected fewer candidates which gives the voter an opportunity to leave the ballot cast as is or make changes to their ballot.
Polls are open in Loris beginning at 7 a.m. and ending at 7 p.m. The East Precinct is located at Loris Elementary School located on Highway 9 Business East and the West Precinct is located at the James P. Stevens County Office Complex located on Walnut Street.
Candidates and supporters will meet at the Public Safety Building for the 7:30 p.m. unofficial announcement of the candidates who will carry the three seats on council, the unexpired seat on council and the mayoral candidate who will take the oath of office on Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2019.
The City of Loris Municipal Election Commission is located at 3909 Walnut Street, P.O. Box 548, Loris S.C. 29569-0548. Commissioners are Melzetta Gore and Venson Powers.
The election results will be certified by the Municipal Election Commission in a hearing scheduled at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 7.