By MINDY LUCAS
On a brisk, sunny Election Day in the Lowcountry, hundreds if not thousands, went to the polls in Beaufort County to cast their ballot for the Democratic nominee for president.
At the Charles L. Brown Activity Center in Beaufort, where three precincts vote, 262 people had voted as of 11 a.m. on Saturday.
Over at Port Royal’s Town Hall where two precincts vote, 213 had voted as of 1:45 p.m. Poll worker Debra Webb said turnout had been “steady” with no lines or waiting.
Traffic outside, however, was another issue.
Cars from the 2020 Bands, Brews & BBQ, a benefit event, lined both sides of Paris Avenue making it a little tricky to find parking for those who only wanted to vote.
But for Lauren Moules who was hoping to find a parking space close by, it wasn’t a problem.
“I pulled right into a spot,” said Moules, who was walking with a cane due to a recent car accident.
Despite moving just a little slower than usual, the Port Royal resident who just turned 30 still felt it was important to get out and vote – especially for those her age, she said.
Moules, who typically votes Republican, voted for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. It was the first time she had voted in a Democratic Primary and while she wasn’t ready to say she was switching parties just yet, she said she liked “Bernie” even though she didn’t necessarily side with his views.
“I just feel like he’s gained momentum,” she said.
South Carolina’s “First in the South” primary has drawn the nation’s attention not only for its early voting before Super Tuesday – in which 14 states will vote – but for its diversity.
According to the (Charleston) Post and Courier and other media outlets, absentee voting in the Democratic primary had surpassed 2016 numbers and could be even higher, after all votes had been counted.
Over on St. Helena Island, 191 people had voted as of 2:30 p.m., with an additional 10 people having voted curbside, said poll clerk, Roosevelt McCollough.
“They’ve been slowly coming in,” he said, adding that he hoped to see that number reach at least 400.
Holly Hook, who walked out of the library’s conference room at a brisk pace, explaining she was late for an appointment, said, “I voted for Joe Biden and I hope he wins.”
About five miles away, at Lady’s Island Elementary, 299 people had voted as of 2:45. Poll worker Inez Washington said that voters had been steadily coming in all day with about “3, 4, or 5 people at a time.”
Outside Lisa Wandrick, of Lady’s Island, said she voted for “Pete.” She liked the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, because he was new, she said.
“And knowing what I know about the others from previous elections,” she said. “I was just drawn to him.”
And his age made a difference as well, she said.
“It’s kind of time to get some new blood,” she said.
But no matter who voters wanted to see win in South Carolina, Wandrick said it was just important to get out and vote.
“Everyone should vote and they should be an informed voter,” she said. “They have the right, they should exercise it.”