Jun. 14—Editor's note: South Carolina's statewide primary elections are happening today. Polls were open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. This article will be updated throughout the day as results come in.
Polls are closed. People in line now can vote as long as they don't leave the line.
Aiken County election director Cynthia Holland says voting is going well in the county. She added there were some issues with hardware when voting first began at 7 a.m. but those have been taken care of.
The Aiken County elections office reports no major issues during the first four hours of voting.
Fox Creek No. 73 at Grace Fellowship Church in North Augusta had tallied 52 voters by 11 a.m. The clerk there said that turnout was about even with what she had experienced in past primary elections.
A heavy downpour didn't deter what the head clerk in North Augusta precinct No. 68 at Mossy Creek Elementary reported was a steady flow of voters since the polls opened.
Still, it seemed like a lower turnout than in past primary elections, she said, attributing this to a higher number of absentee ballots cast this year. Precinct No. 68 had recorded 55 voters by 10:45 a.m.
Voters at the North Augusta High School Precinct No. 27, serving approximately 1,600 people, trickled in as election day continued.
First time poll manager Sandra Parson said there have been no mechanical or computer-related issues.
"This is the first time I am doing this, and I am very excited to do my civic duty," she said.
In the several hours since polls opened, only 11 people had cast their ballots at the Aiken No. 2 location at the Lessie B. Price Aiken Senior and Youth Center.
"I've been here for quite a few years, and it has never been this slow," said poll clerk Aubrey Myers. "Early voting is the reason. I'm positive that is what it is.
"Plus, it's hot outside," he added.
Myers reported that there had not been any issues with voting machines.
Poll managers at the Nancy Carson Library, Belvedere Precinct No. 9, had said they had not experienced any computer ballot issues during the voting day. The precinct serves approximately 2,000 voters in the nearby North Augusta area.
Turnout at North Augusta precinct No. 67, the Riverview Park Activities Center, counted just 10 voters by 10:15 a.m. The clerk there said this was lower than the precinct would normally see, guessing that this year's early voting period affected the day-of turnout.
Around 10-12 people voted on paper ballots this morning at an Aiken County precinct.
Poll workers at Aiken No. 1, the former Aiken city hall, said they issued paper ballots after not having the appropriate power cords for the voting machines set up at the precinct. They added that after about an hour, they got the power cords they needed and were able to have people vote electronically.
Chipper Saunders voted at Aiken No. 1 shortly before 10 a.m. He said he was voting because it was voting day and that he wanted to help determine who would be elected.
He said he was particularly interested in the House District 81 Republican primary between S.C. Rep. Bart Blackwell, R-Aiken, and Betsy Lamb and the Republican gubernatorial primary between incumbent Henry McMaster and Harrison "Trucker Bob" Musselwhite.
Saunders said Blackwell had been in office a lot of years — Blackwell was first elected in 2016 — and that he wanted to give Lamb a chance. He added that McMaster had done a pretty good job.
Across the street from Aiken No. 1 were a group of four women offering voters the chance to sign the Do It Right petition for Project Pascalis.
No issues were reported at Midland Valley No. 71 (Aiken Technical College) or Breezy Hill (Christian Heritage Church in Graniteville).
Breezy Hill is the largest precinct in Aiken County and was the site of long lines during the 2020 general election; however, on Tuesday morning, there was no lines and two voters were able to vote around one minute after entering the precinct.
Voters casting their ballots at the Belvedere Elementary School location, Precinct No. 44, have had a slow and steady influx of voters and was at its busiest with three voters using all available machines.
According to poll manager Destinee White, 23 people have voted on Tuesday morning.
"It's been smooth sailing and I hope it stays that way all day," White said.
"So far, so good," said poll clerk Shirley Mozell when asked how things were going at the New Ellenton Community Center.
Thirty-three people had voted so far.
Mozell reported that there had been a problem with one voting machine, but "a technician came and fixed it."
Polls opened for Tuesday's statewide primary elections at 7 a.m. Local Aiken County races of interest include the House District 81 Republican primary between S.C. Rep. Bart Blackwell and Betsy Lamb and three Aiken County Council races for District 1, District 2 and District 5.
Aiken Standard staff writer Dede Biles and Post and Courier North Augusta staff writers Elizabeth Hustad and Samantha Winn contributed to this article.