UNION — More than five percent of registered voters in Union County have already voted absentee or requested the means to do so but time is running out for residents to request an absentee ballot.
Keith Vanderford, Union County Election Commission chairman, said that a total of 970 of the county’s 17,281 registered voters have either voted absentee at the Union County Voter Registrar’s Office or had absentee ballots mailed out to them as of Tuesday morning.
“We’ve had 970 absentee ballots requested so far,” Vanderford said. “More than 400 of those have been cast on the two machines here at the voter registration office. We’ve had 262 cast on one of the machines and 223 on the other. The rest of the absentee ballots have been mailed out to people who requested them.”
Vanderford said that while registered voters may continue to vote absentee in person at the voter registrar’s office through Monday, Friday will be the last day absentee ballots can be mailed out to those who request them.
“If it is mailed out they have to get an application,” Vanderford said. “If they come in we print out the application for them before they vote. They have to first show a driver’s I.D. or voter’s card. If they call and request one, we have to mail it to them and they sign it and return it and then we mail the ballot out to them. It usually takes two days, but it is getting really close for mail outs.”
Vanderford said persons who vote absentee by mail must have their ballot returned to the voter registrar’s office by the time polls close at 7 p.m. Tuesday.
The election commission will gather at 9 a.m. on election day and open the absentee ballots in preparation for counting them and any others delivered during day when polls close.
Due to the large number of races to be decided in Tuesday’s general election and the number of single-member districts involved, there are a total of 63 ballots in Union County.
At the federal level, voters will select the next president and a congressman. At the state level, they will vote for three state senators and a state representative, each of which is running in a separate district as well as a solicitor who, like the senators and representative, is on the ballot in more than one county. At the county level, they will choose a sheriff and a clerk of court who are running countywide and in four council races which are each in separate districts. They will also elect a soil and water commissioner.
There are also four school district seats on the ballot, all of which are also in separate districts. There are municipal races in the City of Union for mayor (at-large) and three council seats (single-member districts). In the Town of Carlisle, the office and mayor and two council seats will be decided at-large.
Also on the ballot in separate districts are three fire commissions and a watershed which are holding elections for a total of nine seats on their governing boards.
The large number of races and single-member districts means that some precincts will have one style of ballot while others will have as many as 10.
President And Vice President
In the race for president and vice president, voters will choose among the following parties and their respective presidential and vice presidential nominees:
Republican — Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan
Libertarian — Gary Johnson and James P. Gray
Democratic — Barack Obama and Joe Biden
Constitution — Virgil Goode and Jim Clymer
Green — Jill Stein and Cheri Honaka
U.S. House Of Representatives District 5
In the race for the U.S. House of Representatives District 5 seat there are three candidates:
Republican — Mick Mulvaney
Democratic — Joyce Knott
Working Families — Joyce Knott
S.C. House Of Representatives District 42
In State House of Representatives District 42 there is only one candidate:
Democratic — Mike Anthony
Sixteenth Circuit Solicitor
In Circuit Solicitor 16 there is only one candidate:
Republican — Kevin Brackett
In the race for Sheriff there are three candidates:
Petition — Marshall Adams
Petition — William Jolly
Democratic — David Taylor
Clerk Of Court
In the race for Clerk of Court there are two candidates:
Republican — Freddie Gault
Petition — Melanie Lawson
Soil And Water District Commission
In the race for a seat on the Soil and Water District Commission there is only one candidate:
Nonpartisan — Henry L. Sprouse
Voters will also decide whether to approve an amendment to the state constitution which would allow the governor and lieutenant governor to be elected jointly as the president and vice president are. If approved, the governor and lieutenant governor will run on the same ticket and the lieutenant governor will no longer preside over the S.C. Senate. The Senate will instead elect its own presiding officer.
Voters will also be asked whether or not the county government will be changed from council-supervisor to council administrator. If approved, the elected supervisor will be replaced with a council chairman who will be elected countywide and an administrator hired by county council to handle the day-to-day operations of county government.
There will be a number of other races on the ballot, but not in all precincts. These races and the candidates running in them include:
Union County Council
Petition — Frank Hart
Petition — Curtiss Hunter
Petition — Clay Palmer
Petition — Ralph Tucker
Petition — Ronda Adams-Palmer
Petition — Chrystal Coffer
Democratic — Tommy Ford
Democratic — Randall “Chump” Hanvey
Petition — Ray Treadway
Democratic — Kacie Petrie
Republican — Shane Martin
Republican — Harvey Peeler
Republican — Ronnie Cromer
District 1 — B.J. McMorris and Ann Stevens.
District 2 — Jantzen Childers
District 6 — Kakie White and Terri Ransom-Renna.
District 7 — Manning Jeter
City of Union
Mayor — Harold Thompson, Torance Inman and Mike Stevens
City Council District 3 — Keith Henderson
City Council District 4 — Ricky Harris and Kevin Montgomery.
City Council District 6 — Jim Wilson and Sonja Craig
Mayor — Mary Ferguson-Glenn
Two Council (two seats) — Ronnie “Motorcar” Lyles
Jonesville Fire District Board of Trustees (two seats) — James Harvey Jr. and John Vaughan
Monarch Fire District Board of Trustees (three seats) — Donald “Snake” Robinson, Larry Robinson and Brad Jolly
Santuc Fire District Board of Trustees (three seats) — Albert Gregory, Eddie Hines and Nancy Richardson
Brown’s Creek Watershed
Brown’s Creek Watershed (three seats) Twig Adams, C.W. Garner and Wayne Springs
For more information about voting absentee and other election-related matters, contact the Union County Voter Registrar’s Office at 864-429-1616.
Editor Charles Warner can be reached at 864-427-1234, ext. 14, or by email at email@example.com.