Now that the dust has settled after the election, I wanted to write this letter to thank three groups.
First, huge thanks to our staff in the office of the Beaufort County Board of Voter Registration and Elections. They keep track of the 129,000 voters in our county, organize all the equipment for 92 precincts, prepare and load all 65 ballot styles in all of our approximately 370 voting machines to accommodate many local elections across the county.
During all the above tasks, they also find time to run the absentee voting precincts that process more than 20,000 voters the four weeks before the election. They then collect all the results from the 92 precincts and research all the 450 provisional voters for the Canvass Meeting on Friday after the election, where our board certifies the final vote count to send to the state.
Second, special thanks to the 570 volunteers who worked the 92 precincts throughout the county. These people attend training, attend a mandatory briefing prior to every election and then put in 14-hour days on Election Day. This is 6 a.m. until almost 8 p.m. They help make sure every eligible vote counts. They take care of drive-up voters who are immobile and cannot physically make it to the actual precinct. These are the unsung heroes, in my mind, in this process. We are blessed to have them all.
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Thirdly, I want to thank the public that cooperated completely with the process. We had very few people who caused any problems for our workers on Election Day. Thanks to everyone for understanding, or at least putting up with the waits that you endured. This was the largest turnout we have had in years, and even though we had every vote machine available in the precincts, they could not keep up. We usually have plenty of machines for our county elections, and buying a large number of machines for an election every four or eight years would not be proper use of your tax dollars.
Thanks to everyone for being understanding, friendly and cheerful all day on Nov. 8.
Beaufort County Board of Voter Registration and Elections
Hilton Head Island