Florence County elections officials say they're prepared for primary

The door bell and the phones rang all day at the Florence County Elections and Voter Registration Office Friday.

"It's busy, but not unmanageably busy, just steady," said David Alford, Florence County Elections Voter Registration Director.

Officials say a stream of people came in to vote absentee for Saturday's Republican Presidential Primary.

This year, nearly 800 people in Florence County have already voted, compared to 410 absentee votes in 2008.

Many people say they want to avoid long lines with 18,000 people expected to vote in Florence County alone.

"Getting in early like this would get us in better shape," said Pete Johnson.

Alford says all 63 precincts will be open as usual with 215 poll workers. That's 75 fewer than he expected, but he had to scale back when his budget was cut from $40,000 to $30,000.

Alford said, "If we would have held the budget, the initial budget that was given to us, roughly 40 (thousand dollars) I would feel pretty confident with that number of precinct poll workers, but we're not cutting back or doing anything that might affect the result or the way we perform our duties here. We're going to carry that just the same."

At least three workers will be at each of the precincts.

At least nine technicians will be scattered throughout the county to take care of any problems that may arise.

Alford says they'll shift poll workers at the smaller precincts to larger ones to help out, if needed.