South Carolina

Primary Day: What you need to know

When to vote. Polls are open 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday.

Where to vote. Some residents in Richland and Lexington counties will be voting in different polling places. Here are lists of polling places for Richland and Lexington. Have other questions? Check your registration information and see sample ballots at or contact your county’s voter registration office.

Who can vote. Voters, when they arrive at their polling places, will have to choose between the Democratic and Republican ballots. This is a primary election, meaning this vote will decide which Democrat and which Republican will appear on the November general election ballot.

What to bring: A new voter registration card with a photo, or another form of photo identification: a S.C. driver’s license, S.C. DMV ID card, a federal military ID or a U.S. passport. Those who have been unable to get a photo ID should bring their old, non-photo registration card to vote using a paper ballot.

If there is a problem with machines, long lines or other issues, call the State Election Commission, (803) 734-9060. Also call The State, (803) 771-8366.

For results, check back tonight with The State for live results throughout the evening.

Five races to watch


Who’s running: Both U.S. Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-Seneca, and Tim Scott, R-Charleston, are seeking the GOP’s nominations. Graham faces a half-dozen challengers, underfunded and languishing in the single digits in polls, while Scott faces one largely unknown opponent. Meanwhile, two Democrats each are seeking their party’s nomination to oppose Graham and Scott in November, when the GOP nominees will be favored heavily and an American Party candidate also will be on the ballot.

Why the race is important: It’s highly unusual for both Senate seats to be on the ballot at the same time. Scott, appointed to the Senate by Republican Gov. Nikki Haley after Jim DeMint resigned, is running his first statewide race. If he wins in November, he would be the first African-American elected to the Senate from South Carolina. While Scott is the Tea Party-backed successor to “Sen. No” DeMint, Graham, who is seeking a third term, is the foreign-policy expert with a reputation for getting things done.


Who’s running: Who isn’t? Eight Republicans and four Democrats are seeking their party’s respective nominations. (An American Party candidate also will be on the ballot in November.) Most of the GOP candidates really, really, really dislike Common Core, while some also promise to do more to help S.C. parents send their children to private schools. One Democratic candidate shook up that primary briefly by proposing the state legalize marijuana to help pay for schools.

Why the race is important: The job is largely administrative. Policy is set by the state Board of Education. Common Core? It already is set for review by a panel the next superintendent will appoint. The other two ideas? Not part of the job. Tax credits or vouchers for private schools would require legislative approval. Legalizing pot? You’re kidding, right?


Who’s running: Four Republicans and one, unopposed Democrat are running in the last S.C. primary for this post, which will become part of the gubernatorial ticket in 2018. Three of the GOP candidates are unabashed fans of Gov. Nikki Haley. The fourth –Ray Moore – is a Tea Partier.

Why the race is important: The job is part-time and has little real power. But it does oversee the Office on Aging, an important issue in retiree-heavy South Carolina. Also, if a Republican is elected president in 2016, then-lame duck Gov. Haley – assuming she is re-elected – could be a candidate for a Cabinet post or ambassadorship. (Think India.) So, the winner could end up South Carolina’s next governor.


Who’s running: Democrat David Adams faces his first challenger since 2002 in Joe McEachern II. The winner takes office, since no Republican filed.

Why the race is important: The county treasurer heads the office that processes 500,000 property-tax bills each year and, when taxes go unpaid, conducts sales to collect what the county is due.


Who’s running: Republican Bill Banning, who has held the post 16 years, faces challengers Billy Oswald and Ned Tolar. No Democrat is running.

Why the race is important: Oswald and Tolar are making the contest an unofficial referendum on a proposed penny-on-the-dollar sales tax. Banning spearheaded development of a Nov. 4 countywide ballot for a tax that would pay for new roads and other improvements. Oswald and Tolar question the need for it.

Tuesday: Go to

Read more about these and other races, get updates throughout the day and election results Tuesday night.