Election office clarifies voting

  • Friday, August 1, 2014

The special election primary is approaching and the Georgetown County Elections and Voter Registration Office wants to get out the vote.

Director Donna Mahn said she believes participation in primary elections may be lower than necessary because many voters don’t know South Carolina holds an open primary.

In an open primary, any registered voter can vote for partisan candidates regardless of what party the voter is registered with.

“What will happen is, when someone goes to the polls to vote, they will be asked ‘In which political party’s primary do you want to vote today?’” Mahn explained.

While voters are allowed to switch from party to party in different elections, she did clarify if a primary runoff election takes place the voter will be required to vote on the same ballot they selected in the primary.

The upcoming special election for S.C. Senate District 32 will have a primary on Sept. 2. All of the candidates – Rep. Carl Anderson, Sam Floyd, Cezar McKnight and Rep. Ronnie Sabb – are registered with the Democratic Party, so in the upcoming primary voters may only choose to vote on the Democratic ballot.

If no candidate receives at least 50 percent of the votes, a runoff will be required. The primary runoff has been scheduled for Sept. 16.

To participate in the primary, voters have to be registered by Aug. 2. Absentee voting will begin on Aug. 4.

Because the primary will be the held the day after Labor Day, Mahn suggested voters consider casting their absentee ballots now if they plan to be traveling over the holiday weekend.

The Georgetown County Election and Voter Registration Office is located at 303 N. Hazard Street in Georgetown.

Voters can contact the office with question or to request absentee ballots over the phone by calling 843-545-3339.

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