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Crimminger column: Thanks to all who helped with election

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Guest columnist Rick Crimminger chairs the Lancaster County Election Commission.

On behalf of the Lancaster County Election Commission, thank you to the people who worked the polls on Election Day, Nov. 6.
We had 259 people who went through training and were there from at least 6 in the morning to 8 that night. We have such a great group of dedicated workers who sometimes catch heat for long lines and slow machines that they have absolutely no control over, but I had no complaints all day about anyone who was not treated with the utmost care, and for that we again say thanks.
Another big thank you goes to the numerous Lancaster County employees who helped by assisting absentee voters in the office, collecting data, answering the phone, delivering machines to the precincts and by picking them up again.
We have two full-time employees and a couple of temporary employees in the office who managed to vote 33,328 people during this midterm election, which is 57 percent of the registered voters and a 62 percent increase over the 2014 midterms.
I would also like to thank Lancaster County Council for their support. Council this year provided $20,000 for the purchase of 10 more voting machines.
Indications are that we may have a new voting system in place for the 2020 general election, so our elections director, Mary Ann Hudson, worked out a deal with the machine vendor to borrow 35 machines at no cost to the county instead of spending the budgeted $20,000. Thanks, also goes to County Administrator Steve Willis for taking the time to assist us in providing quality service to the voters.
Thank you to the technicians who worked throughout the day and into the night to respond to problems as quickly as possible.
I also want to thank Mary Ann and her staff, Renee Holcomb, Nancy Brasington and Melissa Peach, for their hard work over the past several months. They have worked nights and weekends along with a number of volunteers to set up all the equipment for this election, and at the same time, handled 6,477 people who voted early, either in the office or by mail, while still performing the normal office duties.
Thanks also to the other commissioners who serve in order to provide people with one of our most cherished rights, the right to elect our government representatives.
Please give me a call at (803) 285-2969 or email mahudson@lancastercountysc.net if you have any comments, questions or suggestions.