By Mindy Lucas
Despite discussions to postpone June’s statewide primaries and possible runoff elections due to the coronavirus outbreak, elections will proceed as scheduled.
That means primaries will take place on Tuesday, June 9 and any runoff elections will be held on Tuesday, June 23.
Those concerned about COVID-19 or need to vote absentee, take note: Governor Henry McMaster recently signed into law legislation that allows all qualified South Carolina voters to vote absentee in any election held in June. (The provision expires on July 1 and does not apply to any elections after that date.)
Voters need only to choose Reason 18 – State of Emergency on the absentee application and have up until 5 p.m. the day before the election to vote by absentee ballot at the county’s election offices.
For those interested in voting in Tuesday’s primary, here’s what you need to know:
Who’s on the Ballot
Since there is no opposition for the Democratic nominations in Beaufort County, there will be no Democratic Party primary in this election, so only those running in Republican primaries on June 9 are listed below.
(Candidates will then go on to face their Democratic challenger, if any, in November.)
Those candidates include:
Lindsey Graham (incumbent)
U.S. House of Representatives District 01
S.C. House of Representatives
District 118 (Beaufort
and Jasper Counties)
Bill Herbkersman (incumbent)
District 120 (Beaufort and Colleton Counties)
Weston Newton (incumbent)
District 121 (Beaufort County and Colleton County)
District 122 (Beaufort County, Hampton County and Jasper County)
District 123 (Beaufort County)
Jeff Bradley (incumbent)
District 124 (Beaufort County)
Shannon Erickson (incumbent)
S.C. Senate District 43 (Beaufort County, Charleston County and Colleton County)
Chip Campsen (incumbent)
District 45 (Allendale County, Beaufort County, Charleston County, Colleton County, Hampton County and Jasper County)
District 46 (Beaufort County and Jasper County)
Tom Davis (incumbent)
Beaufort County Coroner
Beaufort County Council’s District 7
Keep in mind South Carolina’s party primaries are open, so any registered voter may vote in any party’s primary.
What Can I Expect
Election officials have taken steps to protect the health of voters and poll managers including special training for maintaining sanitary conditions and social distancing at polling places.
Officials are also working to source masks, face shields and gloves for poll managers, sneeze guards for check-in stations, sanitizing wipes for cleaning common surfaces, hand sanitizer for voters and poll managers and cotton swabs for making selections on touchscreens.
In addition, check-in stations and voting equipment will be spaced at least 6 feet apart.
Voters are encouraged to wear a protective mask and will be expected to practice social distancing. Voters can also bring their own pen for signing the poll list.
Where and When You Can Vote
Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Election Day.
Due to the pandemic, some polling places may be relocated or consolidated. Some facilities have declined to be used and some poll managers have declined to serve.
For updates or to find your precinct, go to www.scvotes.org.
In the meantime, voters should prepare by making sure they are registered to vote and that address information is up to date.
What to Bring
You will need a photo ID in order to vote. The following are accepted:
S.C. driver’s license
S.C. Department of Motor Vehicles ID card
S.C. voter registration card with photo
Federal military ID
If you forget to bring your photo ID, you may vote with a provisional ballot. However, you will need to show your photo ID to the election commission before to the certification of the election in order for your vote to count.