The Anson County Board of Elections held its regular monthly meeting on Dec. 4, following what Interim Director Steve Adams called a “good election.”
“Everyone did a good job for it,” Adams said of the poll workers, office staff and party chairs. In addition to the smooth election, Adams said it was cost-effective. A cost analysis revealed that the election cost a total of $51,572.80. “That’s just $4.53 a voter: that’s a good number,” Adams said.
Out of the 17,397 voters registered in the county on Election Day, 11,385 actually voted. The majority, 6,322, voted in early voting while 4,650 voted on Election Day. Another 252 absentee votes were made by mail, and there were 161 provisional votes, all totalling a 66 percent voter turnout, according to Adams.
Bob Wells, husband of Republican Party Chair Donna Wells, brought up the problems of political harassment. “We couldn’t chase the people away who were harassing the voters,” Wells said.
Additionally, he said that many of the provisional votes that were made were because some voters simply didn’t want to go all the way to their precincts. “A lot of voters said, ‘I never registered to vote, so I want to register to vote,’ and you know in your heart of hearts that the time for that has come and gone.
“And then there were the fair number of people who said, ‘Well, I’m supposed to go over to Wadesboro 1, and I don’t feel like it.” Although some provisional voters were “legitimate,” Wells did say it was a problem. Adams agreed that voters who didn’t want to go to their own precincts made up the majority of the provisionals.
Part of the problem was “definitely” due to early voting, according to Adams. As some of the destinations were different for early voting and Election day, some confused voters went to the wrong locations even though the locations were advertised for four weeks in the newspapers, Adams said.
Vancine Sturdivant, Democratic Party chair, said that the board had done an “exceptional job” with the election. Chairman Fred Paxton said that he heard that Anson topped other counties with similar voting bodies with early voting and Anson’s own performance in 2008. Paxton and Chairwoman Judy Little both commented on the hard work, teamwork and problem-solving of the board and election staff.
The board was given sealed copies of poll worker feedback to have read them before the next meeting or to address any pressing problems before then. After reading and approving October and November meeting minutes, the board approved Adams time off before adjourning. The next meeting will be on Jan. 8, 2013 at 5 p.m.