UNION COUNTY — Anyone who wants to help choose the candidates of the Democratic or Republican parties is being urged to register to vote before the May 10 deadline.
All but three of the 20 county, state, and federal offices on the ballot in Union County will be contested in the June Democratic or Republican primaries and/or the November general election.
Of those, four — Union County Supervisor, State Superintendent, both US Senate seats — are being contested in the Democratic primary, while nine — SC House District 42, SC Governor, SC Lt. Gov., State Comptroller General, State Superintendent of Education, SC Adjutant General, SC Commissioner of Agriculture, and both US Senate seats — are being contested in the Republican primary.
The Democratic and Republican primaries will be held on June 10 and the deadline for registering to vote in the primaries is May 10.
“It’ll be the last day to register to vote in the primary,” Keith Vanderford, chairman of the Union County Voter Registration and Election Commission, said.
Vanderford said that those who are eligible to register to vote in the primary include those who have not yet turned 18 but will do so before the November general election.
“Anyone who turns 18 before Nov. 4 can register now and vote in the June 10 primary,” Vanderford said.
In addition to those registering to vote for the first time, Vanderford said persons who may have changed their address since the last election need to contact the Union County Voter Registrar’s Office to have that change noted so they will be able to vote in the primary and in the general election without problems.
“It is very important that anyone who has moved or changed their address contact the Voter Registration Office at 429-1616,” Vanderford said.
Vanderford said the June primaries will be the first time the county will require a resident to present photo identification when they go to the polls.
“The photo id that we can accept are a SC driver’s license, identification card issued by the highway department, a passport, a federal military id card with photo, and a SC voter identification card with photo,” Vandeford said.
If, however, a voter does not have the qualifying photo identification, Vanderford said they will be able to vote a provisional ballot. He said they can then come back to the Registrar’s Office and present the appropriate identification and the vote will be counted. If they do not, it will not be counted. They must present the photo identification before 10 a.m. the Thursday after the election or primary when provisional ballots are opened by the election commission.
The only exceptions to this requirement are the hardships listed on the back of a provisional ballot envelope. Vanderford said that if the voter has one of those hardships that prevents them from getting the required identification, they can still cast a provisional ballot and it will be counted. Those hardships include:
• Religious objections to being photographed
• Disability or illness
• Work schedule
• Lack of transportation
• Lack of a birth certificate
• Family responsibilities
The following races will be on the ballot in the June 10 primaries and/or the November general election:
Four of the seven county offices on the ballot are contested. Those who have filed, the party nominations and the offices they are seeking include:
• Union County Supervisor — Incumbent Supervisor Tommy Sinclair and District 2 Union County Councilman Frank Hart are seeking the Democratic nomination. There are no Republicans running for the office.
• Union County Probate Judge — Jonesville Municipal Judge Calvin Payton is running as a Democrat while William D. All III, a student at the University of South Carolina, School of Law, is running as a Republican.
• Union County Coroner — Incumbent Coroner William E. Holcombe is seeking re-election as a Democrat while Lewis Funeral Home owner and operator Scott Lewis is running as a Republican.
• Union County Council District 1 — Incumbent Council Member Joan Little is running as a Democrat while Randall English is running as a Republican.
The uncontested races are for Union County Treasurer, Union County Auditor, and Union County Council District 4 where the respective incumbents — Dianne Wilkins, Brad Valentine, and Ben Ivey — are running as Democrats without opposition in both the primary and the general election.
The S.C. House District 42 seat, the county’s sole legislative seat in the S.C. General Assembly, is also contested with two Republicans and one Democrat running.
Incumbent Rep. Mike Anthony is running as a Democrat while Buffalo farmer Mark Cathcart and and former Clinton mayor David Tribble Jr. are seeking the Republican nomination.
District 42 is composed of all of Union County and part of Laurens County.
All nine statewide offices will also be on the ballot in June and November including:
• Governor — Five candidates representing four parties are running for governor including: Incumbent Gov. Nikki R. Haley who is being challenged for the Republican nomination by Tom J. Ervin; Democrat Vincent Sheheen; Libertarian Steve French; and Morgan Bruce Reeves of the United Citizens Party.
• Lt. Governor — Bakari Sellers is the sole Democrat running for lieutenant governor while Mike Campbell, Pat McKinney, Henry McMaster, and Ray Moore are seeking the Republican nomination for the office.
• Secretary of State — Incumbent Mark Hammond is running as a Republican while challenger Ginny Deerin is running as a Democrat.
• State Treasurer — Incumbent Curtis Loftis is being challenged for the Republican nomination by Brian Adams. There are no Democrats running.
• Attorney General — Incumbent Alan Wilson is running as a Republican while challenger Parnell Diggs is running as a Democrat.
• Comptroller General — Incumbent Richard Eckstrom is being challenged for the Republican nomination by Robert D. Shelley and the winner of that contest will face Democrat Kyle Herbert.
• State Superintendent of Education — This is an especially crowded raced with four candidates — Montrio M. Belton Sr., Sheila C. Gallagher, Jerry Govan, and Tom Thompson — seeking the Democratic nomination and nine candidates — Sally Atwater, Gary Burgess, Meka Bosket Childs, Amy Cofield, Sheri Few, Don Jordan, Elizabeth Moffly, Molly Mitchell Spearman, and Ed Murray — seeking the Republican nomination.
• Adjutant General — Incumbent Bob Livingston and challenger James Breazeale are both seeking the Republican nomination.
• Commissioner of Agriculture — Incumbent Hugh E. Weathers is being challenged for the Republican nomination by Joe Farmer and the winner of the contest will face David Edmond of the United Citizens Party and Emily DeFelice of the American Party.
One seat in the U.S. House of Representatives and both of South Carolina’s U.S. Senate seats will also be on the primary and general election ballots.
U.S. House District 5 — Incumbent Mick Mulvaney, a Republican, is being challenged by Tom Adams, a Democrat.
This election year is an unusual one in that both of the states seats in the U.S. Senate on the ballot. The seat currently held by Sen. Lindsey Graham is on the ballot because the current six-year term expires this year.
The race is also a crowded one with a total of seven Republicans — Graham, Det Bowers, Lee Bright, Richard Cash, Bill Connor, Benjamin Dunn, and Nancy Mace — and two Democrats — Brad Hutto and Jay Stamper — and one Libertarian — Victor Kocher — running for the seat.
The state’s other U.S. Senate seat is in order to determine who will serve the remaining two years of the current term. The seat is currently held by Sen. Tim Scott who was appointed by Gov. Haley following the resignation of Jim DeMint.
Scott is being challenged for the Republican nomination by Randall Young while Democrats Joyce Dickerson, Sidney Moore, and Harry Pavilack are running for the Democratic nomination. Also running for the seat is Jill Bossi of the American Party.