WATCH: Slow start on primary day at precincts across Midlands
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP/WOLO) — A record 3 million people are registered to vote in South Carolina, but don’t expect any voting records to be set when voters go to the polls Tuesday in the state primary.
There are no statewide races, and in a relatively quiet campaign season, there are primaries in only three of the state’s seven congressional districts. Across the state, 39 state legislators faces primary challenges.
A look at Tuesday’s primary, in which polls are open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. EDT:
Click here to find your polling place.
Click here to check your voter registration.
Click here to see a sample ballot.
Incumbent Republican U.S. Reps. Mark Sanford and Mick Mulvaney face primary challengers on Tuesday.
Sanford, a former governor, faces state Rep. Jenny Horne of Summerville in the Lowcountry’s 1st District in the congressional race that has attracted the most attention. Horne gained nationwide attention last year for her impassioned speech calling for the removal of the Confederate flag from the Statehouse grounds in the wake of the shootings at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston.
In the 5th District along the North Carolina border, Mulvaney, first elected six years ago, faces Ray Craig of Lake Wylie. In the other race in the 2nd District in the Midlands, Phil Black of Lexington meets Arik Bjorn of Columbia in the Democratic primary. The winner faces long-time incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson in the fall.
The legislative races to watch are in the Senate, where Republican Gov. Nikki Haley is trying to oust several of its GOP leaders, while Lt. Gov. Henry McMaster and other Haley allies are working to re-elect them. Those targeted by Haley include Senate President Pro Tem Hugh Leatherman of Florence, Luke Rankin of Conway and Wes Hayes of Rock Hill.
Others facing tough challenges include Senate Judiciary Chairman Larry Martin, R-Pickens, whose opponents include a former member of the state House.
GOP Sen. Lee Bright of Roebuck, who also faces three challengers, is the only incumbent publicly opposed by the state Chamber of Commerce. Its Good Government Committee is running radio ads against him.
In Charleston, former Democratic Sen. Robert Ford, who was convicted of misconduct in office and ethics violations, is trying to win his seat back from incumbent state Sen. Marlon Kimpson.
TURNOUT AND OTHER MATTERS
Chris Whitmire of the South Carolina Election Commission says the commission doesn’t make turnout projections, but notes turnout in past state primaries has ranged from 14 to 27 percent, depending on who and what issues were on the ballot.
The highest election turnout in state history was the presidential election four years ago, in which 1.9 million voters, or 69 percent of registered voters, went to the polls.
More than 1.1 million voters cast ballots earlier this year in the presidential preference primaries in the state, with almost 750,000 of those votes cast in the GOP primary.
Some voters will see driver license scanners at the polls Tuesday. Those devices allow poll workers to quickly identify voters so they don’t have to punch in their names and look them up on computer screens.