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It's primary day in South Carolina: What you need to know

Here's what you need to know and a look at some of the contested races.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — It's 2022 Primary Day in South Carolina. To get you ready for casting your ballot, News19 has assembled the following voting guide. 

Among the races voters will decide is who will be the Democratic and Republican nominees for Governor, Education Superintendent as well as some U.S. House races gaining national attention. There are also some local county council races. 

Things to remember before you vote:

First things first: early voting has now ended. So if you wanted to vote before election day, that period has ended. Instead, you'll have to cast a ballot the traditional way: show up to your precinct on Tuesday. 

Polls are open until 7 p.m.. If you are in line at 7 p.m., you will be allowed to vote.

You will need to bring a photo-ID with you to vote. Show one of the following forms of photo ID at your polling place:

  • SC Driver’s license
  • SC Department of Moto Vehicles ID Card
  • SC Voter Registration Card with photo
  • Federal Military ID
  • US Passport

If you plan to vote on election day, make sure your voter registration information is up to date by checking online at scvotes.gov. If you have moved, make sure your address is correct with SCDMV and at scvotes.gov. If you have moved but failed to update your address, Failsafe Voting is an option for you. Failsafe Voting allows you to vote if you fall under one of these conditions:

  • Voter moves from one address to another within the same precinct -- complete a change of address form to vote.
  • Voter moves from one address to another within the same county, but in a different precinct – either (a) go to former precinct and vote a limited, failsafe ballot and record updated address, or (b) go to the county voter registration office, complete a change of address form, and vote a full ballot
  • Voter moves from one South Carolina county to another within 30 days of the election -- either (a) go to precinct in former county where you lived and vote a limited, failsafe ballot and record updated address, or (b) go to the county voter registration office in the current county of residence, complete a change of address form, and vote a full ballot

There is one exception for failsafe voting in municipal elections – the voter must have resided within the municipality for 30 days or more before the election to be eligible to vote

Make sure you can find the precinct where you will cast your ballot.

South Carolina currently has an open primary system, meaning you do not have to register with any political party to vote. A person who tends to vote Republican can choose to vote in the Democrat primary, as a person who tends to vote Democrat cand vote in the GOP primary.

After you have checked your voter registration information and found your precinct, don’t forget to download a sample ballot for your precinct.

The role of the primary election is to whittle down the field of a political party’s candidates for an office to a single candidate for the general election in November. Some statewide races may not be listed on a ballot if a candidate from one party has no opposition during the primary election. For example, the Attorney General's race is listed on the GOP ballot because current Attorney General Alan Wilson is facing competition from fellow Republican Lauren Martel. The Attorney General's race is not on the Democrat ballot because that party did not field a candidate for that office.

Elections to watch


Governor Henry McMaster is running for another term in office against former businessman Harrison "Trucker Bob" Musselwhite is running against him.

Former US Rep. Joe Cunningham and SC Sen. Mia McLeod are the most high-profile candidates in a contest that also includes Carlton Boyd, Calvin "CJ" Mack McMillan, and William Williams.

State Superintendent for Education

The race features six total candidates: Travis Bedson, Bryan Chapman, Kizzi Gibson, Lynda Leventis-Wells, Kathy Maness, and Ellen Weaver.

Democrat candidates include former Anderson County School Board member and educator Gary Burgess, career educator Lisa Ellis and former SC Rep. (Orangeburg) Jerry Govan.

US House District 1

Current US Rep. Nancy Mace is seeking re-election and is being opposed by Katie Arrington. Mace has the backing of former SC Governor Nikki Haley while Arrington has the backing of former President Donald Trump. Arrington won the GOP nomination in 2018 only to lose the general election to Joe Cunningham, the first time a Democrat had taken that seat in 32 years. Mace beat Cunningham in 2020.

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