What to keep in mind for South Carolina’s primary election

What to keep in mind for South Carolina’s primary election

CONWAY S.C. (WBTW) — Horry County election officials are hoping a field test of voting machines last week will make for a streamlined day at the polls.

The devices were put through the paces on Friday, where their safety and security features were highlighted.

Horry County election officials tested the scanning machines on Friday and highlighted the machine’s multiple security measures including lockable doors, tamper-evident seals and access codes. That helps avoid possible delays or errors while polls are open.

Sandy Martin, Horry County’s director of voter registration and elections, said voters need to declare a party if they want to vote.

“A lot of people don’t want to tell you, but if you want to vote, you have to tell it,” she said. “For November, you can vote any way you want to.”

Several key races on today’s primary ballot include the Democratic race in U.S. House 7th District, where retired Coker University professor Mal Hyman is running against Darryl Scott for the right to face Trump-backed incumbent Russell Fry.

In state Senate District 33, incumbent Luke Rankin, a Conway attorney, faces Autry Benton, who withdrew last September from the Conway City Council race in a bid to unseat Rankin.

Democrat Jamie Hamilton for Dillon County Sheriff, who was appointed interim sheriff by Governor Henry McMaster after the death of Douglas Pernell last year, he is seeking a full term and is being challenged by James Campbell.

Coastal Carolina University political science professor Mikel Norris says, today’s election could lead to interesting dynamics ahead of November.

He says one-party districts like Horry County, sometimes depend more on primaries than the general election.

“You know it’s just tricky because it’s a primary and it’s in the summertime. Party primaries and you know that kind of gets missed by people if they’re not paying attention right cause it’s summer, people got stuff going on. So, to remember to go out and vote tomorrow might be a little more difficult than November.”

“You know if people are really interested in getting a certain candidate elected for a particular office, they’ll show up.”

News13 will have full coverage of Tuesday’s primaries on-air and online.

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Hannah Huffstickler is a multimedia journalist at News13. She joined the News13 team in January 2024 after graduating from Coastal Carolina University in December of 2023. Keep up with Hannah on Facebook, X, formerly Twitter, and Instagram. You can also read more of her work here.

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