According to the Union County Election Commission, several misconceptions regarding ballots for November elections have some voters confused.
Darlene Pettit, Union County Voter Registrar, says the biggest misconception is that voters will not be able to vote straight-party tickets in November. That isn’t the case.
Voters will have the option of voting straight-party tickets as always, however, if they want to vote for non-partisan offices such as mayor, school board, city council or fire boards, they will need to vote for each of them individually. Such is also the case with two amendments that will be on the November ballots.
“It’s all the same as it has ever been with non-partisan candidates, really, but petition candidates are worried voters might overlook them because they are not affiliated with a party,” Pettit said.
Pettit said voters who plan to vote straight-party tickets will need to make sure they also vote for individual non-partisan offices and amendments.
“Non-partisan offices won’t get a vote if (voters) only vote straight ticket,” Pettit said.
That also goes for petition candidates, of which there are several on the November ballot in Union County. Since petition candidates are non-partisan, if voters who vote a straight ticket want to vote for a petition candidate, they will have to do so specifically.
Pettit also pointed out that it is acceptable to vote a straight-party ticket and then change the vote for a particular office.
In the case of the race for Union County Sheriff, none of the three candidates is running as Republicans, so voters who vote a straight-Republican ticket would not vote in the sheriff’s race unless they go in and vote specifically for that race.
Once voters have made their selections, the electronic ballot will display a review screen, allowing voters to make changes before confirming their final votes.
“If you just want to vote in the presidential election, you can do that,” Pettit said. “A lot of people think if you don’t do everything just right, the ballot gets discarded, but that’s not the case either.”
Pettit said registration picked up during the petition candidates’ petitioning process, as candidates encouraged voters to register to sign their petitions.
The last day to register to vote before the November election is Oct. 6. Those who are not registered to vote before Oct. 6 will not be eligible to vote.
Absentee ballots will be available at the Union County Election Commission headquarters — located at 320 E. Main St. — 30 days prior to the election. Those who qualify for absentee voting can also call the commission at (864) 429-1616 to receive ballots by mail.
Look for a sample ballot of countywide, state and national elections in an upcoming edition of The Union Daily Times or at www.uniondailytimes.com.