Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Voters in South Carolina and across the country will cast their ballots in the 2018 midterm elections, which some are calling one of the most pivotal in U.S. history. Either way, it's the public's chance to weigh in on the direction of their city, county, state, and country.
There are obviously a lot of elections on the ballot, chief among them in our state the one for South Carolina governor. Here's a breakdown of some the information
When will the polls be open?
Polls statewide are open until 7 p.m. As long as you are in line by 7 p.m. that day, you will be allowed the vote.
What information do I need to bring to the polls?
People need to bring one (1) of the following forms of photo ID:
- SC Driver's License
- SCDMV ID Card
- SC Voter Registration Card with photo
- Federal Military ID
- United States Passport
If you don't have any of these forms of identification, you may vote with what's known as a provisional ballot. Bring your non‐photo voter registration card with you to the polling place. You may vote a provisional ballot after signing an affidavit stating you have a reasonable impediment to obtaining a photo ID. To see a list of those reasons, click here:
However, if you do that, you must then go back to your county election office and show your photo ID before the vote is certified, which usually happens the Thursday or Friday after the election.
How do I know where my precinct is to vote?
Check My Voter Registration - This will let you know what precinct you should be voting at, and what U.S. House, county council, city council, and other local races you're allowed to vote in. It'll ask you your county, your name, and your date of birth, and then hit submit to finish the process.
Get My Sample Ballot - You'll know exactly what races you'll see when you walk into the booth, so you can go ahead and make your choice now to reduce your time in the booth.
Find My Polling Place - You can even get directions using this tool
Can I vote absentee?
Your options at this point are all but gone if you haven't already taken action. In-person absentee voting ended Monday. The only way you still can is if you already had an absentee ballot mailed to you. In that case, you can drop it off at your county elections office until 7 p.m.
Absentee voting was strong in the state, shattering the old record for a midterm election.
Can I still register to vote?
Unfortunately, if you've never registered to vote, it's too late: the deadline was October 17. South Carolina law does not permit same-day registration. If you've registered before, however, you can vote, even if you've skipped a few elections.
How come there some candidates who are listed under two different parties?
When you go into the ballot box, you may find some races have more than one candidate. Under South Carolina law, it is possible for a candidate to win more than one party's nomination to that particular office. However, it is not possible for people to vote for any candidate more than one time. All votes cast for the candidate will be included in one grand total at the end of tabulation.
What are main the South Carolina races I'll see on the ballot?
South Carolina Governor:
Incumbent Republican Henry McMaster is facing Democratic challenger James Smith. For the first time ever, the candidates will have a lieutenant governor candidate as a running mate.
All U.S. House Seats on the Ballot
As they are every two years, all seven of South Carolina's U.S. House seats are up for grabs, meaning that every citizen of South Carolina, no matter where they live, will make a choice for their Congressperson.
SC Senate/House Seats Up for Grabs
The following Midlands Senate/House seats are contested in the Midlands:
Senate: Just one race, and that's the special election for South Carolina Senate District 20, which features Republican Benjamin Dunn against Democrat Dick Harpootlian.
House: SC House 41, SC House 52, SC House 66, SC House 67, SC House 69, SC House 73, SC House 74, SC House 75, SC House 77, SC House 79, SC House 85, SC House 87, SC House 93, SC House 95.
If you're not sure if you fall in one of those above districts, check your sample ballot
Statewide Referendums/Local Ballot Questions:
SC Amendment 1 question: Appoint Education Superintendent
If approved, voters would allow for the state education superintendent to be appointed, rather than elected. To be clear, a "yes" vote means allow for them to be appointed, a "no" means keep things the way they are. If approved, this does not go into effect until 2022.
Alcohol Sales Questions
Voters in Calhoun County will decide about Sunday sales. The decision will be broken up into two questions: sales on premises and off premises.
Previous Coverage: Sunday sales could be coming to Calhoun County
Sales & Use Tax:
Voters in Calhoun, Saluda, and and Lee County have a sales and use tax that they must decide on.
School Bond Questions:
If you live in these jurisdictions, you'll be asked questions about tax revenue:
Lexington School District One, Lexington School District Three, and Richland School District Two. In each case, the bonds, if approved, would go to the construction of new facilities or improvements to old ones.
Previous coverage: Richland Two will ask voters to approve bond referendum
Previous Coverage: Voters to decide on $365 M Lexington School District One bond
We will have complete coverage on campaign night, including the most up-to-date South Carolina election results, either on-air on News19, on our website, WLTX.com, and the WLTX News19 app. (Don't have the app? Download it here!)