UNION COUNTY — Nearly seven out of every 10 registered voters in Union County cast ballots in Tuesday’s general election drawn to the polls by the race for President of the United States of America.
There are 17,573 registered voters in Union County and, according to the Union County Election Commission, 12,212 or 69.49 percent voted Tuesday.
(In 2012, there were 17,281 registered voters in Union County, of which 12,667 or 73.3 percent voted in that year’s election.)
The percentage of voters participating in Tuesday’s election in Union County was actually slightly higher than it was statewide. Of the 3,129,467 registered voters in South Carolina 2,104,214 or 67.24 percent voted.
Why such a big turnout? The answer to that question is that this year is a presidential election year, and the inclusion of the presidency on the ballot is always a big draw for voters.
Furthermore, this year’s presidential election was especially contentious and controversial with the two major party candidates being more polarizing than candidates in many previous elections. Already a major draw for voters simply because the office at stake is the presidency of the United States of America, the contentious, controversial, and polarizing nature of this year’s race for the White House made it an even more powerful draw for voters.
Union County Voter Registrar Darlene Pettit confirmed this, saying that this year’s presidential race brought people to the polls who had not voted in years. She said those who spoke about their reasons said it was because they felt that this year’s presidential race was an unusually important one.
“We had a lot of people who had not voted in years who came out to vote,” Pettit said Wednesday. “The ones who came out to vote and who commented said they felt like this was an important election and they wanted to vote this year.”
Pettit said that while there were other races on the ballot that no doubt brought people to the polls, they apparently did not capture the public’s imagination like the presidential race did. She said that for the most part those who shared their reasons for coming to the polls with her, the staff of her office, and other election officials said they were turning out to vote because of the presidential race.
Of the 12,212 votes cast in Tuesday’s election, 12,087 were cast for the seven presidential candidates listed on the ballot in Union County.
The heavy turnout was not just countywide but at the precinct level as well with all but one of the county’s 23 precincts reporting turnout of more than 40 percent. Of those precincts, 18 reported turnout of more than 50 percent, and of those nine reported turnout in excess of 60 percent with one of those reporting turnout in excess of 70 percent.
The following precincts reported the following turnouts for Tuesday’s election.
• Adamsburg has 668 registered voters of which 421 or 63.02 percent voted.
• Black Rock has 403 registered voters of which 247 or 61.29 percent voted.
• Bohnam has 891 registered voters of which 515 or 57.80 percent voted.
• Buffalo Box 1 has 879 registered voters of which 514 or 58.48 percent voted.
• Carlisle has 544 registered voters of which 309 or 56.80 percent voted.
• Cross Keys has 807 registered voters of which 514 or 63.69 percent voted.
• East Buffalo has 368 registered voters of which 178 or 48.37 percent voted.
• Excelsior has 1,420 registered voters of which 760 or 53.52 percent voted.
• Jonesville Box 1 has 1,003 registered voters of which 632 or 63.01 percent voted.
• Jonesville Box 2 has 1,146 registered voters of which 662 or 57.77 percent voted.
• Kelton has 919 registered voters of which 596 or 64.85 percent voted.
• Lockhart has 628 registered voters of which 414 or 65.92 percent voted.
• Monarch Box 1 has 1,175 registered voters of which 639 or 54.38 percent voted.
• Monarch Box 2 has 380 registered voters of which 197 or 51.84 percent voted.
• Putman has 634 registered voters of which 440 or 69.40 percent voted.
• Santuc has 721 registered voters of which 469 or 65.05 percent voted.
• Union Ward I, Box 1 has 648 registered voters of which 344 or 53.09 percent voted.
• Union Ward 1, Box 2 has 1,102 registered voters of which 580 or 53.63 percent voted.
• Union Ward 2 has 1,060 registered voters of which 467 or 44.06 percent voted.
• Union Ward 3 has 713 registered voters of which 344 or 48.25 percent voted.
• Union Ward 4, Box 1 has 850 registered voters of which 385 or 45.29 percent voted.
• Union Ward 4, Box 2 has 420 registered voters of which 154 or 36.67 percent voted.
• West Springs has 305 registered voters of which 217 or 71.15 percent voted.
Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090.