Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Voters in South Carolina are headed to the polls today to cast ballots in primary contests for both statewide and local races.
Polls opened at 7 a.m. and will remain open until 7 p.m. Under the voter ID law in South Carolina, voters will be required to have a driver's license, a DMV issued photo ID, a passport, federal military ID or a voter registration card with a photo. MORE: Check Your Precinct/What You Need to Know on Election Day
Already there have been reports of some difficulties. In Richland County, a voter at the Spring Valley precinct told News19 voters didn't cast ballots until just after 7:30 a.m., and at the Polo Road precinct, one of the machines had difficulty casting ballots, delaying voting for some who showed up there.
Richland County Elections Director Samuel Selph called the problems minor, saying there were a few hiccups caused by new technology and absent poll workers. He said all machines went through preventative maintenance before the elections.
"We expect the rest of the day to go smooth," Selph said.
The State Election Commission says they've heard of no major problems statewide either.
"It's been a relatively calm primary day," said Chris Whitmire with the commission. "For the most part, turnout has been moderate to low.compared to a general election, and that's what you'd expect to see."
People will have mostly statewide races to make decisions about; indeed, in some counties, there will be no local contests at all. Both Republicans and Democrats, though, will be picking candidates for two U.S. Senate seats, a rare scenario caused by the fallout of Jim DeMint's abrupt resignation in early 2013. Perhaps the most-watched of those contests will be on the GOP side,where two-term incumbent Lindsey Graham faces off against seven challengers for his position.
Republican voters will also choose from among four candidates for lieutenant governor. The winner of that contest will oppose Democrat Bakari Sellers in November.
One of the most unpredictable races might be for the nominees for state education superintendent, where eight Republicans and four Democrats are trying to be the person that will replace Mick Zais. Both those contests likely will head to runoffs.
No matter which party they choose, voters will be asked a series of ballot questions. None of these questions are binding: they're merely meant as a way for the parties to gauge support within their constituency on several topics. Democrats are asking about medical marijuana, road repair, and online gaming, while Republicans will pose to voters conception rights and income taxes. Previous Coverage: Political Parties Asking Questions on Ballot
WLTX will have election coverage throughout the day, and when polls close, results will be posted here on WLTX.com and on our Twitter and Facebook pages. We''ll then have a complete wrap-up of the day on our 11 p.m. newscast.