View from Greeview and Kilbourne precincts, Columbia, S.C. - DatelineCarolina

Election 2010

A view from the Greenview and Kilbourne Baptist Church precincts

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Harrison Rearden, poll manager of the Meadowlake precinct for the last 35 years, helps direct the constant flow of voters. Harrison Rearden, poll manager of the Meadowlake precinct for the last 35 years, helps direct the constant flow of voters.
Rusty DePass, who's managed the Ward 24 precinct for about a year, said voter turnout was steady, but slow. Rusty DePass, who's managed the Ward 24 precinct for about a year, said voter turnout was steady, but slow.

A view from the Greenview and Kilbourne Baptist Church precincts

By Gwendolyn Weiler
Edited by Scott Waggoner

A steady wave of cars came in and out of the Greenview precinct off David Street at lunchtime. Clusters of yard signs dotted the parking lot entrance and more lined the roads like runway lights, steering voters to the polls.

The front doors opened into a wall of people standing in the corridor in two lines. About 50 voters snaked their way around the processing table and into one of the eight voting booths. Some pushed strollers; others were pushed in wheelchairs, and almost all were African-American.

Poll workers at the processing table shuffled through papers to keep keeping track who had voted so far – "Two and a half sheets of paper, so about 450," one said.

Harrison Reardon, who's managed this precinct for the last 35 years, darted from person to person, answering questions, shaking hands, giving a ready smile to new arrivals.

Less than 20 miles away, at the Ward 24 precinct at Kilbourne Baptist Church, there were  four voting booths, no lines and no African-Americans.

Rusty DePass, who has managed the precinct for about a year, clicked a button on his laptop computer. With absentee ballots, 38.8 percent of the area's 918 registered voters had been there, he said

DePass, a former State Election Commiossion chairman, smiled at voters as they came in, calling several by name, and texted his lunch order to a friend.

His sister, Kay Durham, managed the Ward 25 precinct across the hall, where traffic was heavier. She said 43.3 percent of the precinct's 1,541 voters had voted and that she expected many more by the end of the day.

Historically, Ward 25 has had one of the best voter turnouts, Durham said. Around 1:30 p.m. there was no waiting and no line. But  it was the first break since the polls opened, she said.

Poll worker Britne Johnson said the line wrapped around to the front door at its peak.

"People, in this ward, are just faithful about their patriotic duty," she said.

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