CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - Voters will head to the polls in South Carolina Tuesday for primary elections.
If you're like most people, you're asking yourself this: who's running? Where do I vote? What will be on the ballots? Here's a running list of everything you need to know before heading to the polls:
What are we voting for?
Primary elections are when registered voters select a candidate whom they believe should be a political party's candidate for elected office to run in the general election and do more than select nominees.
The primary election on June 12 involves candidates seeking ballot spots for the November general election for state governor, secretary of state, attorney general, and various more localized seats in congress and and county councils.
Election dates to know
- June 12 - statewide primaries
- June 26 - primary runoff elections
- Nov. 6 - general elections
If you're planning to vote in the primary, you can check SCVotes.org for your polling location. It's the "Find Your Precinct" option in the upper right.
If you do not have your voter registration card and do not know your precinct name, you can use the "Check Your Voter Registration" feature found in the menu under "Voters."
Remember: polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m.
Hear from the candidates
Two of the biggest races in the primary are the first congressional district and state governor.
First Congressional District:
The district includes portions of Beaufort, Colleton, Charleston, Berkeley and Dorchester Counties.
Republican Rep. Mark Sanford has served in the position since 2013. Sanford is running re-election against four others: Republicans Katie Arrington and Dimitri Cherny; and Democrats Joe Cunningham and Toby Smith.
Here are full interviews from each of the candidates:
Meanwhile, Gov. Henry McMaster is running for his first full term as governor. He took office in 2017 when then-Gov. Nikki Haley stepped down to serve as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.
McMaster, a Republican, is being challenged by four Republicans and three Democrats. Republican candidates are current Lt. Gov. Kevin Bryant, former Lt. Gov. Yancey McGill, Catherine Templeton and John Warren. Democratic candidates are Phil Noble, State Rep. James Smith, and Marguerite Willis.
Here are interviews with the gubernatorial candidates:
McGill, Smith and Willis did not accept our invitation to be interviewed for this story.
Both the Democratic and Republican Primary ballots will ask voters to make decisions about important questions.
The Democratic Primary ballot questions will ask about medical marijuana and whether the governor should be required to accept funds for state expansion efforts for Medicaid.
Here are the actual questions:
- Do you support passing a state law allowing doctors to prescribe medical marijuana to patients?
- Do you support passing a state law requiring the governor of South Carolina to accept all federal revenues offered to support Medicaid and Medicaid expansion efforts in the state?
The Republican Primary ballot questions focus on whether voters should be allowed to affiliate with a political party when they register to vote and whether the state's tax code should be brought more in line with President Donald Trump's tax cuts.
Here are the actual questions:
- Do you believe that voters should have the option to choose to affiliate with a political party when they register to vote or change their voter registration in South Carolina?
- Do you believe that South Carolina’s tax code should be brought into conformity with the new Trump tax cuts in the federal tax code for maximum simplification and to lower the overall tax burden on South Carolina taxpayers and businesses?
When voting in person, you will be asked to show one of the following photo IDs:
- SC Driver's License
- SC Department of Motor Vehicles ID Card
- includes SC Concealed Weapons Permit
- SC Voter Registration Card with Photo
- US Passport
- Federal Military ID (includes all Department of Defense Photo IDs and the Department of Veterans Affairs Benefits Card)
According to SCVotes.org, if you do not have one of these photo IDs, you should obtain one before primary day. If you are already registered to vote, you can go to your county elections office, provide your date of birth and the last four digits of your Social Security Number, and have your photo taken. You can do this even on Election Day. Free DMV ID Cards are also available from the Department of Motor Vehicles.
If you cannot get a photo ID, bring your non-photo voter registration card with you to the polling place and you will be allowed to vote on a provisional ballot after signing an affidavit stating you have a reasonable impediment to obtaining a photo ID. The South Carolina Election Commission defines a reasonable impediment as any valid reason, beyond your control, which created an obstacle obtaining a photo ID.
Rules about candidates at polling places
South Carolina law does allow candidates to make appearances at polling places with some restrictions.
For instance, they can't campaign inside the polling place. They may only be inside to observe, but they may casually speak to voters as long as they are not campaigning, intimidating voters or interfering with the voting process.
They may also be outside a polling place within 200 feet of the entrance as long as they do not intimidate voters or interfere with voting. But no campaign literature, signs or posters are allowed within 200 feet of the entrance to a polling place.
Make sure to stay with Live 5 News for all your election coverage leading up to the primaries and on election day.
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