Election Day 2018 is Tuesday, and if absentee voting is any indication, Kershaw County may well have a larger than usual turnout.
“I think we’re well ahead of where we were in 2016, John Caughman, manager of the Kershaw County Office of Voter Registration said. “It got busier than it normally does. We’re really hoping for a strong turnout.”
For those who have not registered or have not updated their registration, the deadline for that passed on Oct. 19, which means they will not be able to vote in the election Tuesday. However, if you are registered and up-to-date, there is still time to vote an absentee ballot if you can’t make it to the polls Tuesday.
Today is actually the last day to mail paper absentee ballots. According to the K.C. Office of Voter Registration, it may take up to five days to receive a ballot by mail and then five days to return the ballot by mail. Paper absentee ballots may be returned to the office in person.
If you wish to vote in person, the Office of Voter Registration is open Saturday from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. Absentee voting ends Monday, Nov. 5, the day before Election Day, at 5 p.m.
On Tuesday, Nov. 6, polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. However, voters who are in line waiting to vote by 7 p.m. will not be turned away.
Don’t forget to bring a photo I.D. to the polling place. However, those who forget to bring a photo I.D. can vote on a provisional ballot. That ballot will only be counted if the voter shows a photo I.D. prior to certification.
Caughman said citizens can find a wealth of information regarding candidates, ballots, polling places and even directions to the polls on the scVOTES.org website.
“All 34 polling places will be open,” he said. “Lugoff 1, which is normally located at Lugoff Middle School, is going to be in the Lugoff Elgin High School annex due to the construction projects underway right now.”
There are no other changes in locations to polling places, he said.
Sample ballots are also available on the scVOTES.org website, he said. In fact, Kershaw County has some 47 different ballots.
Many local races only show one candidate on the ballot either because those candidates won their party primaries in June and no other candidates from opposing parties ran in the primaries, or only one candidate filed to be on the ballot.
The following Constitutional Amendment Question will appear on ballots in the November 6, 2018 General Election:
Must Section 7, Article VI of the Constitution of this State, relating to state constitutional officers, be amended so as to provide that beginning in January 2023, or upon a vacancy in the office of Superintendent of Education after the date of the ratification of the provisions of this paragraph, whichever occurs first, the Superintendent of Education must be appointed by the Governor, with the advice and consent of the Senate; to provide that the appointed Superintendent of Education shall serve at the pleasure of the Governor; and to require the General Assembly to provide by law for the duties, compensation, and qualifications for the office?
A ‘Yes’ vote will require the Superintendent of Education be appointed by the Governor with the consent of the Senate.
A ‘No’ vote maintains the current method of electing a Superintendent of Education.
In local elections, the only contested election is the race for Kershaw County Sheriff, with Repuplican Lee Boan running against Democrat Anthony Bell. Other county offices that are on the ballot with only one candidate include Probate Judge -- Debbie Branham; Coroner -- David West; Auditor -- Dennis Arledge; Treasurer -- Jill Catoe; Kershaw County Council Chairman -- Julian Burns’ and Kershaw County Council Districts 4,5 and 6 with Jimmy Jones, David Snodgrass and Tom Gardner, respectively.
In addition, all school board races have one candidate on the ballot in each race. They are Mark Sury, Shirley L. Halley, Kimberly Horton Durant and Donald Copley for Districts 2,4,6 and 8, respectively.
Daniel Lovatt and Ed Estridge are running for two seats, non-partisan, foir the soil and Water District; Roy Croxton Jr. is on the ballot for the Watershed Conservation District; and Scott Jacobs is on the Fire District Commission ballot. All of these races are non-partisan.
At the state level, Rep. Laurie Funderburk, the incumbent Democratic candidate, is running against Republican challenger Penry Gustafson, for S.C. House of Representatives District 52.
Another contested race is the S.C. 5th Circuit Solicitor’s race, which pits Democrat Bryon Gipson against petition candidate John Meadors, a former 5th Circuit assistant solicitor.
Other state races include governor/lieutenant governor running mates -- Republicans Henry McMaster (Incumbent) and Amela Evette against Democrats James Smith and Mandy Powers Norrell; Secretary of State -- Republican Mark Hammond (Incumbent) versus Democrat Melvin T. Whittenburg; Treasurer -- Republican Curtis Loftis (Incumbent) against Democrat Rosalyn L. Glenn and American Party candidate Sarah Work; Attorney General -- Republican Incumbent Alan Wilson versus Democratic party challenger Constance Anastapoulo; Comptroller General -- Richard Eckstrom; Superinetendent of Education -- Republican Molly Spearman (Incumbent) versus Democrat Israel Romero; and Commissioner of Agriculture -- Republican incumbent Hugh Weathers against United Citizens Party candidate Chris Netums, Green Party David Edmond.
For more information call the Kershaw County Office of Voter Registration at (803) 424-4016, visit the website at www.kershaw.sc.gov/government/get/voter-registration, or go to the scVOTES.org website.