HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – With President Obama's final State of the Union Address over, and presidential primaries just over a month ahead of us, election season is well underway here in South Carolina. For many groups, time is of the essence.
If you speak with anyone in South Carolina who is involved with elections, you'll probably hear a lot about January 27. That's the last day you can register to vote in the presidential primaries, and it's the first of many big days everyone is working tirelessly towards.
At the Horry County Voters Registration and Elections department, that couldn't be truer.
"It's two countywide elections one week apart, so that takes a lot of preparations," said department director Sandy Martin.
Aside from actual logistics, Martin's staff is also focused on getting people registered correctly.
Martin says online options are making things much easier this time around for voters, but increases in registration are also a matter of timing.
Often, the numbers line up with big political events, or the stretch right before an election.
"Typically, two weeks before the election is when everybody remembers that they're going to be voting, so that's when our push happens here," said Martin.
Local party leaders say they're focused on registration as well.
According to the South Carolina State Election Commission, in the last two presidential primaries, both parties saw close to 25 percent voter turnout in Horry County. This time they think it will be higher.
Joan Furlong with the Horry County Democratic party says until the presidential primaries, every worker will be making sure people are ready to hit the polls.
"We'll be phoning voters, doing some postcards, and, of course, it's always the one on one, neighbor to neighbor, personal contact that encourages people to vote," Furlong said.
Local GOP leader Robert Rabon says the party's efforts are no different. You have to get people to the polls, before any change can come.
The deadline to register for the presidential primaries here in South Carolina is January 27.
The Republican Primary Election will be February 20. The Democratic Primary Election will be the 27th of February.
See a full election calendar, check your registration status, and register online here: http://scvotes.org/