Horry County sees low voter turnout for Democratic Primary

Horry County sees low voter turnout for Democratic Primary

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – Only 8.93% of registered voters in Horry County got out to the polls for the Democratic Primary compared to 28.88% who participated in the Republican Primary the weekend before, according to statistics from the South Carolina Election Commission.

Joan Furlong, chair of the Horry County Democratic Party, said the numbers weren't as high as the party would've liked to see.

She said the precincts that recorded more voters, such as Port Harrelson, Wampee and Coastal Lane, have larger African-American populations.

"Hillary Clinton had a really substantial support in the African-American community across the state, so it is not a surprise that there would have been a turnout of close to 30% in some precincts," Furlong said.

Those precincts were among those with lower-than-average voter turnout for the 2016 Republican Primary.

Democratic voters came out in greater force back in 2008 with 20.3% of registered voters casting ballots for the Democratic Primary compared to 20.1% of voters in the Republican Primary.

"In 2008, it was historic and it was an opportunity for the African American voter to vote for Barack Obama and it was just precedent setting," Furlong said.

The Republican race has held more of the attention this election season though, she said.

"You always go into an election expecting and hoping for a better turnout than the previous election and that you're going to build on the record that you've got," Furlong said. "Were we able to top what the Republican's did last weekend? No."

Furlong expects turnout to improve for the November general election because Democrats won't want to lose the White House.

She said absentee ballot submissions did improve for this primary compared to that in 2008, meaning voters are using alternative voting options.

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