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      Absentee voters wait in long lines

      On Monday, thousands of people in the Pee Dee braved the brisk and rainy weather to vote by absentee ballot.

      The line for absentee voting nearly curved around the Florence County Voter Registration building on South Irby Street. At times, it seemed as if the line barely moved.

      "It picks up at moments then it slows down drastically, " said voter Christine Cooper.

      "It would have been nice if I got here early to get up in front , but I'm going to wait," said Angela Drake.

      "Sure , I plan to wait . I want to vote . I t's my right, " said John Hunt.

      While they waited, many found different things to do to pass the time. Some read books and others chatted on their cell phones.

      Those who were hungry or thirsty got a free cup of coffee and danish, compliments of a Florence County woman.

      Many voters say they needed a little something to warm them up.

      "Especially coffee because it's cool out here," said Drake.

      Despite the long lines and chilly weather, dozens of voters say this is an important election, one they c cannot afford to miss.

      "I think everybody should put their 2 cents worth in vote for the right candidate . I 'm sure everyone's got their mind made up . T his is most important year of all," said Bonnie Rogers.

      Several of the absentee voters Monday did so because they are going to be out of town.

      The others say they just did not want to stand in those long lines on election day.

      Although , if they ar e under 65 or not disabled, that is a violation of the law allowing absentee voting.

      Election officials say the lines will be long Tuesday. They encourage you to bring a book, portable chair , and snack.