Hundreds of thousands of voters won’t be able to participate in state primary elections across South Carolina on Tuesday. Hundreds of ballots will be effected by a court ruling that will keep candidates from running in the primary. A special three-judge panel refused to stop the election at the request of five candidates who were kicked off of the ballot due to confusing and improper candidate paperwork filing.
Nearly 250 primary candidates are no longer eligible in the vote — impacting races ranging from sheriff to State Senate.
The confusion resulted as challengers statewide were decertified after the South Carolina Supreme Court ruled last month the law requires candidates to file their economic interest forms at the time they file their intension to run. There was confusion over when the statements needed to be done because of a newer state law that required online filing.
In some places, no one is on the ballot, and nearly 300 polling places in 14 counties won’t even open. About 436,000 registered voters won’t be able to participate in the primaries. Nearly 50 of the decertified candidates were seeking state General Assembly seats.
As you can expect, turnout will likely be very low.
The Justice Department plans to have representatives monitoring the polls in both Fairfield and Williamsburg counties. The department routinely monitors Southern elections to ensure compliance with the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race and color.
Michael Passman, a spokesman for the department, said in an email the agency would not comment on why those two counties were chosen for monitors.
Polls will be open from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.
PolicyMic will be covering the South Carolina primaries live. Bookmark this page and click “refresh” for the latest updates.
LIVE UPDATES: 8:34 p.m. Lots of races to watch, here are the two you really need to pay attention to:
House District 2: Joe Wilson (81.42%) vs. Phil Black (18.58%)
8:15 p.m. Full-recap of the results until now (4 counties reporting in full, 1 partial), with 8,972 ballots cast:
8:03 p.m. Thus far, voter turnout is 0.20%, with 5,584 ballots cast. In U.S. District 3, Cason Gaither leads Brian Ryan Doyle 55.56% to 44.44% (Democratic race).
7:58 p.m. With 8% of precincts in, S.C. Sen. Billy O’Dell (RINO-Abbeville) leads his opponent Riley Harvell 187-81.
7:45 p.m. Polls are starting to come in now. Less than 1% reporting, here are the early races:
Gaither up 50% to Doyle's 44% in District 3 for House
Rose up 60% to Bennett's 40% in District 38 State Senate
Skelton and Harris tied in District 3 State House
Hiott up 85% to Wynn's 15% in District 4 State House
Putnam up 77% to Johnson 22% in District 10 State House
Limehouse up 88% on Reugner in District 110 State House
7:33 p.m. Still no polls reporting in South Carolina.
7:05 p.m. Polls are now closed in South Carolina.
According to the Associated Press, turnout is reported light across the state as South Carolina voters cast their ballots in confusing primary elections.
South Carolina State Election Commission spokesman Chris Whitmire said Tuesday poll managers are reporting a quiet beginning for balloting across the state.
In Columbia, poll manager Helen Munnerlyn said only 26 voters had arrived by midmorning in a precinct with some 2,000 registered voters.
In Mount Pleasant, 21 voters had cast their ballots at a precinct where poll manager Linda Ambrose said she hoped, at best, for a 5% turnout.
Hundreds of candidates have been decertified for the primary. The state Supreme Court ruled last month that the law requires candidates to file their economic interest forms at the time they file their intension to run. Many had not.