Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Time is running out for people to cast their ballots in the 2012 General Election in South Carolina.
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Polls opened at 7 a.m. statewide, and will remain open until 7 p.m.
Heavy voter turnout has been reported throughout the state. In Richland County, some precincts had trouble keeping up with demand, as a combination of too few and malfunctioning machines keep some voters waiting as long as four and five hours to vote. Related Coverage: Voters Report Problems at the Polls
Other than the race for president, there's just one other ballot item that each voter across the state will make a decision on: a potential change to the state constitution on the way we elect the lieutenant governor. If people vote yes, the governor and lieutenant governor would run as a joint ticket beginning in 2018; if the measure is defeated, the races will remain separate as they are now.
Voters will also pick their representative in the U.S. House again, while voters in the Pee Dee and Grand Strand will elect the first person to represent the newly created Seventh Congressional District.
Some of them most contested races will come for seats in the South Carolina General Assembly. Here's a look at some of the ones in the Midlands that may prove interesting:
State Senate District 23: Incumbent Republican Jake Knotts faces petition candidate Katrina Shealy and Constitution Party candidate David Whetsell. The district represents a large portion of southeast Lexington County.
State Senate District 26: Incumbent Democrat Nikki Setzler goes against Republican challenger Deedee Vaughters. A lot of money has already been spent in advertisting in this race, as the GOP sees a chance to flip this seat.
State Senate District 35: Republican Tony Barwick vs. Democrat Thomas McElveen. Both men seek to fill the seat left vacant when longtime Democrat Phil Leventis didn't seek re-election. This district's lines were redrawn this year, meaning both candidates will have to work for voters that have never cast ballots for this seat.
State House District 75: Republican Kirkman Finlay and Democrat Joe McCulloch square off in a race to take over for Republican Jim Harrison, who didn't seek office again. The district comprises Forest Acres and much of southeast Columbia, including Shandon and the Rosewood neighborhoods.
State House District 78: Incumbent Republican Joan Brady goes against Democrat Beth Bernstein in a race that's seen a lot of ad dollars poured into the Columbia airwaves over the last several weeks.
News19 will have complete election coverage throughout the day, both here on WLTX.com and over the air and on Twitter and Facebook. After the polls close, we'll be bringing you results throughout the night.