CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Republicans celebrated victories in three of four major races in South Carolina Tuesday night.
U.S. First District Congresswoman Nancy Mace won reelection to her second term, with the Associated Press calling the race shortly after 11 p.m. Fellow Republican Tim Scott was reelected to hold his U.S. Senate seat in what he has said will be his final term in that seat.
Republican Gov. Henry McMaster won reelection for his second full term over Democrat Joe Cunningham. McMaster’s victory is set to make him the longest-serving governor in state history by the time his term ends.
Democrat Jim Clyburn, the House Majority Whip, won reelection his 16th term in the U.S. House.
The first of the four victories was called just 38 seconds after polls closed in the state, when the AP declared Scott the victor over State Rep. Krystle Matthews.
This year’s midterm elections put every seat in the U.S. House of Representatives on the ballot. This is the first general election since redistricting following the 2020 census.
In the First Congressional District Race, Republican incumbent Nancy Mace is hoping for a second term with a defeat over Democratic challenger Dr. Annie Andrews.
The tightest race for much of the evening was the race for the South Carolina Superintendent of Education.
Democrat Lisa Ellis and Republican Ellen Weaver are competing to succeed Republican Molly Spearman, who is not seeking re-election.
As of 10:45 p.m., Weaver had a 9-point lead over Ellis, with 54% of the vote and 58% of precincts reporting.
SC voters take advantage of early voting in weeks ahead of Election Day
The 2022 general election marks the first time voters in the Palmetto State were able to vote early without a reason. The state previously allowed in-person absentee ballots
The state saw more than 560,000 people cast their votes early, including a record 70,000 on Friday. Around the state, Charleston, Horry, Greenville and Richland Counties led in the number of early voters.
Ahead of Tuesday’s election, some Lowcountry elections officials are offering advice for those heading out to the polls.
Isaac Cramer with Charleston County Board of Elections says early voting has been a great success and they saw a record turnout this year. He says this is great because lines today are expected to be shorter since most of the county has already voted.
Now, there are some dos and don’ts on election day. Cramer says you must bring your state-issued ID to the polls, but you cannot wear campaign material that deals with any candidates currently on the ballot.
“It happens every election, people will come in, but they’ll just be asked to take off their campaign button, take off their hat, or flip their shirt inside out. That’s just the law, you can’t have that inside the polling location or outside,” Cramer says.
If you have an absentee ballot, you must drop it off at the Charleston County Board of Elections headquarters by 7 p.m. tonight. Their offices are located at 4367 Headquarters Road in North Charleston.
If you don’t get your absentee ballot in by Tuesday night it will not be counted.
In Dorchester County, almost 21,000 people voted early and Dorchester County Director of Elections and Voter Registration Kizzie Scott says they’re looking for a smooth election and are excited for more voters to come out.
In preparation, Scott says they’ve given lists of voting locations to local law enforcement and are partnering with SLED and the National Guard to keep the polls secure.
She says she encourages the public to be patient with poll workers because they’ve been dealing with a lot of policy changes, specifically regarding the absentee voting policy.
She says she guarantees that voters’ ballots will be cast without any issues.
“If you are in line at 7 p.m. you still get to vote,” Scott says. “What we do is we get one of our workers to get behind the last person in line, that way no one can filter in the line and vote when they are not eligible to vote because the polls are closed at 7 p.m.”
In Berkeley County, Director of Voter Registration Rose Brown says they are doing everything they can to make sure voters have a safe and pleasant experience casting their votes.
She’s encouraging voters in Berkeley County to check out their sample ballot before they head to the polls.
“We have adequate staff at each location. We just want everyone to show up at their polling location between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. and cast their votes for the candidate of their choice and also, they have statewide constitutional amendments and Berkeley county has several questions on the ballot as well,” Brown says.
Brown says they’re looking for a good turnout today but to make sure to bring a valid photo I.D such as a driver’s license, a concealed weapon permits a passport, and military ID or photo registration card.
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