Georgetown County Sheriff Special Election

Tuesday’s Republican primary for Sheriff of Georgetown County has a new wrinkle.

Sheriff Carter Weaver faces challenger Darryel Carr on Dec. 3 to become the candidate for the party in the February 4 election to fill the remainder of the term won by the late Lane Cribb.

In a post on social media Monday afternoon, the “Georgetown County, S.C.” Facebook page had a message saying that the Tuesday primary would be the deciding election.

According to Billy Altman of the Georgetown County Board of Voter Registration and Elections, that’s not quite the case.

Here’s the text of the Facebook post:

"IMPORTANT NOTICE:

Tomorrow (Tuesday, Dec. 3) is the day Georgetown County voters elect Georgetown County's new Sheriff. Though the special election is a Republican primary, ANYONE can vote in this election, regardless of their party affiliation, and it will essentially decide the entire race. The two candidates on the ballot are Sheriff Carter Weaver and Darryel Carr. The winner will fill the unexpired term of Sheriff Lane Cribb, who died in office earlier this year. The Democrat who filed to run for the office was eliminated for not filling out legally required paperwork to be on the general election ballot on Feb. 4, so the Dec. 3 primary will decide the race."

According to Altman, the election on Feb. 4 will still be held. The ballot will only show the name of the winner of Tuesday’s primary. Because of the possibility of a successful write-in candidate, Altman said, the February election will still be held.

The rest of the post is valid, but the actual vote result won’t be determined until after the Feb. 4, 2020 election.

Altman said that a candidate had filed for the Democrat nomination for sheriff. However, the candidate did not file all the required forms by the deadline. Since that was the case, the local Democrat Party did not certify him as a candidate.

When the county Board of Canvassers met to hear and certify the results of the November municipal elections, one of the statements made at that time was that the name of a write-in candidate must be the same for each ballot to count. If names are presented differently, each version of the name would be counted as a separate person.

An example would be John Boy Smith, John B. Smith and Jack Smith. While the voters could intend each of those to be the same person, the differences in names would result in separate vote totals for three separate names.

Polls for the Republican Primary will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Lists of polling places have appeared in the newspaper and on the South Strand News Web site and social media sites.

It is correct that while the primary on Tuesday is a Republican primary, any properly registered voter in Georgetown County may vote in the election.