2022 Grand Strand Elections: What you need to know

2022 election grand strand
2022 election grand strand(MGN)
Published: Apr. 21, 2022 at 1:22 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 14, 2022 at 6:10 AM EDT
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - Everything you need to know about voting rules, registration, mail-in voting, changes, and candidates in the Grand Strand.

Absentee voting: Absentee ballots are available to only some voters, including people 65 and older, those who are sick or physically disabled and those who will be out of town on Election Day. You’ll need a witness’s signature to cast an absentee ballot.

Early, in-person voting: The state recently passed legislation allowing early voting. Gov. Henry McMaster signed into law on May 13 legislation passed by the General Assembly establishing early voting in the state.

Early voting replaces in-person absentee voting.

For the June primaries, early voting will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. starting on Tuesday and continuing through June 10, with the exception of the weekend of June 4-5.

Voters can visit their county voter registration and election offices or any additional locations that will be determined and announced no later than May 24. Those locations will be posted on scVOTES.gov.

Any voter can visit an early-voting location in their county and vote as they would at their regular polling place on Election Day, South Carolina State Election Commission Deputy Executive Director Chris Whitmire said.

Voting in person on Election Day: The state’s primary election is Tuesday, June 14, and the general election is Tuesday, Nov. 8. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Voter I.D.: Starting in 2013, S.C. voting law requires voters to bring a photo ID, such as a driver’s license, to the polls on Election Day. Previously, voters also could cast ballots if they had their voter registration card, which does not have a picture. The law currently allows voters to get a photo ID at their local election office and to vote on a provisional ballot if they have a reasonable excuse why they could not get such an ID.

The deadline to register to vote is 30 days prior to the election, May 15 this year. Click here to see if you’re registered.

Who Can Register? In order to vote, South Carolina law requires one must first register to vote at least 30 days prior to the election. To be eligible to register in South Carolina you MUST:

  • be a United States citizen
  • be at least eighteen years old on or before the next election
  • be a resident of South Carolina in the county and precinct in which you are registering
  • not be under a court order declaring you mentally incompetent
  • not be confined in any public prison resulting from a conviction of a crime
  • have never been convicted of a felony or offense against the election laws OR if previously convicted, have served the entire sentence, including probation or parole, or have received a pardon for the conviction.

New voters don’t need to choose a party as South Carolina has open primaries. To find out where to vote, click here.

Students: Citizens who are not yet 18-years-old but will turn 18 before the next ensuing General Election, and who otherwise qualify to vote, have the right to register beginning 120 days prior to the closing of the books of a preceding primary (see S.C. Code of Laws 7-5-180).

Students may register to vote where they reside while attending college. This could be at an address in the college community (e.g., a dormitory) or at an address you intend to return to while not in the college community (e.g., family home). For guidance in determining what residence to claim for voter registration purposes, see S.C. Code of Laws Section 7-1-25.

Many college students who live on campus receive their mail at a campus post office box. These students must register at the physical address of their dormitory. The student’s P.O. Box can be provided for mailing and contact purposes.

Convicted Felons: Any person who is convicted of a felony or an offense against the election laws is not qualified to register or to vote unless the disqualification has been removed by service of the sentence, or unless sooner pardoned. Service of the sentence includes completion of any prison/jail time, probation and parole.

Federal and state courts provide the SEC with lists of persons convicted of felonies or crimes against the election laws. Those persons are removed from the state’s list of active, registered voters. The SEC notifies each voter whose name is removed. Voters have 20 days from the date the notice is mailed to appeal. Appeals must be made to the SEC.

Once a person who was convicted of a felony or offense against the election laws serves his sentence, he may register to vote. To register, the applicant must submit a new voter registration application to his county voter registration office. To participate in any particular election, the applicant must submit the application prior to the 30-day voter registration deadline for that election. In applying, the registrant is swearing under penalty of perjury that he is qualified to register, including having completed his entire sentence. County voter registration boards must be satisfied that the applicant has completed his sentence; and in some cases, may request a person who has lost his voting rights due to conviction to provide proof that he has completed his sentence.

For more information on felony disenfranchisement, click here.

GEORGETOWN COUNTY

Solicitor Circuit 15

Jimmy A Richardson (R-Incumbent) has served as Solicitor since 2012, appointed by Governor Nikki Haley. Prior to that, he served as Chief Deputy Solicitor of the Fifteenth Circuit. Richardson has a record for prosecuting serious felony cases, including murder, rape, burglary, armed robbery and drug trafficking. He also assisted in the successful prosecution of a murder case in which the defendant received the death penalty. He is running unopposed.

County Council District, 01

Clint A Elliott (R) manages all of the drinking water laboratories for the Grand Strand Water and Sewer Authority. he is also on the board of the Waccamaw Chapter of the Coastal Conservation Association. Elliott represents the northeastern part of the state on the Drought Response Committee that governs drought-related issues and responses in South Carolina. His platform includes regulating growth to protect natural resources, supporting law enforcement and first responders, and lowering taxes. He is running unopposed.

County Council District, 06

Stella Mercado (R) is a co-founder of the tech firm Mercom. If elected, she would be the first woman to represent the Waccamaw Neck on the council. Mercado’s campaign platform includes protecting natural resources and the quality of life and managing growth. She is running unopposed.

County Council District, 07

Candidates will face off in the general election in November.

Louis R Morant (D-Incumbent) has served the district since 2018. The seat was previously held by his brother, Johnny Morant, elected in 1993. Louis Morant has served as County Council Chairman since 2019.

David Ballard (R) -No campaign information is currently available.

HORRY COUNTY

Solicitor Circuit 15

Jimmy A Richardson (R-Incumbent) has served as Solicitor since 2012, appointed by Governor Nikki Haley. Prior to that, he served as Chief Deputy Solicitor of the Fifteenth Circuit. Richardson has a record for prosecuting serious felony cases, including murder, rape, burglary, armed robbery and drug trafficking. He also assisted in the successful prosecution of a murder case in which the defendant received the death penalty. he is running unopposed.

Probate Judge

Allen Beverly (R) became the Chief Associate judge of the Probate Court in 2019. The Probate Court currently has the Probate Judge and two associate judges. Judge Kathy Ward and Associate Judge Donna Lupo will both retire this year, leaving Beverly as the only experienced judge to carry on the work of the office. He is running unopposed.

County Council Chair

Candidates will face off in the primary in June.

Johnny Gardner (R-Incumbent) has served the district since 2018. That same year, he admitted to violating the Ethics Act by failing to disclose campaign contributions of more than $1,000 in money and failing to disclose a $70,000 loan for a total of six ethics violations. He agreed to pay a fine of $3,650 and was issued a “public reprimand.” his campaign platform includes encouraging growth in the county and new housing built carefully.

Mark Lazarus (R) served as the County Council chair from 2013 to 2018, when Gardner won the seat. He is a well-known vocal supporter of developers and the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce. His campaign platform includes strengthening the economy, improving infrastructure and continuing the “record-breaking investments in public safety” achieved during his term as chair.

Katrina M Morrison’s (R) campaign platform includes slowing over-development in the county, improving infrastructure, and hopes to prevent more changes to the Future Land Use Maps of the 2040 Comprehensive Plan without proper environmental consideration. Morrison opposes the I-73 project.

Johnny Vaught (R) served on the county council since 2015. Prior to that, he served as VP for the Horry County Higher Ed Commission for 16 years, and as president of the South Carolina Tech Education Association. His campaign platform includes low taxes, improving infrastructure and responsible growth.

County Council District, 01

Candidates will face off in the primary in June

Harold Worley (R-Incumbent) has served the county since 2002 and previously served four years on the North Myrtle Beach City Council His campaign platform includes low taxes, and preserving residential zoning over multi-unit housing. He also supports the Hwy 31-57 Little River Bypass and MYR expansion. Worley founded the North Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce in 1999 and served as its first chairman.

Jenna Dukes’ (R) campaign platform includes responsible growth, improving infrastructure, bringing industry to North Myrtle Beach, and protecting the environment. She is a pharmacist and owns the only independent pharmacy in North Myrtle Beach. Dukes’ previous experience includes serving on the Board of the North Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce

County Council District, 02

Candidates will face off in the primary in June.

Bill Howard (R-Incumbent) is a co-owner of Surf Diner and The Alabama Theatre and served the county since 2014. He has recently fought in favor of the “Fireworks Free Zones” in the county. Howard has a record of supporting fires responders and law enforcement and for fiscal responsibility. He Howard has pushed for a tax increase to hire more police officers in recent years.

Dean Richardson (R) owns a local car business. His campaign platform includes improving transportation and stormwater infrastructure and fighting crime - specifically panhandling and homelessness.

County Council District, 05

Tyler Servant (R-Incumbent) is the youngest member of the council. He recently announced county funding for a project that would redesign and add parking to Garden City’s downtown. He is running unopposed.

County Council District, 07

Candidates will face off in the primary in June

Orton Bellamy (R-Incumbent) has served the county since 2018, the same year he switched political affiliation from Democrat. Bellamy has helped bring funding to the Bucksport area for flooding relief and education programs and served on the county’s redistricting committee.

Jeanette Spurlock (R) is a former Republican candidate for Congress. She referred to Bellamy a RINO (Republican In Name Only). Her campaign platform includes improving infrastructure and economic development.

Tom Anderson (R) runs a contracting firm and served on the Conway City Council for two decades.

County Council District, 08

Candidates will face off in the primary in June.

David Ellis (R) works with the homebuilder DR Horton. No campaign information is currently available.

Shannon Grady’s (R) campaign platform includes improving infrastructure and roads and favors a “managed” approach to growth.

Mikey “Mash” Masciarelli (R) is a Realtor with Berkshire Hathaway and speaks frequently at planning meetings to question both developers and residents who complain about growth. Masciarelli’s campaign platform includes finding a balance between growth and infrastructure.

Brandon Skipper (R) works as an insurance broker. He’s said he favors I-73 and improving infrastructure.

County Council District, 11

Al Allen (R-Incumbent) has served the county since 2007. He is a pilot by trade, call sign “Thunder Hawk,” and veteran. After his military service, Allen joined the Florence City Police Department, then as the Training Officer for The Conway City Police Department, and later with The Horry County Sheriff’s Office. He represents one of the largest districts on the council which includes much of western Horry County.

Board of Education District, 01

David Koch (R) is the director of young adult services at Sea Haven, which provides resources to struggling youth. His campaign platform includes unbiased learning on every subject and positive mental health.

Board of Education District, 02

Candidates will face off in the primary in June.

Sherrie Todd (R-Incumbent) has served the board since 2014. She taught at The Academy for Technology and Academics before joining the Facilities Committee which helped in the building of six new schools in Horry County. Todd is a licensed educator for the state, providing Methods of Teaching and state-mandated Disciplinary Classes.

Debbie Edmonds (R) is a former teacher and assistant principal in Horry County. She served as an assistant principal at Myrtle Beach Middle School, Forestbrook Elementary and Lakewood Elementary. As a teacher, she taught first, third, fifth and eighth grades. Edmonds’ campaign platform includes improving literacy and math skills and making better use of the budget.

Board of Education District, 03

Candidates will face off in the primary in June.

Tracy Winters (R-Incumbent) has served the board since 2021 to fulfill the unexpired term of her late husband, Ray Winters. She previously served on the School Improvement Council at Ocean Bay Elementary School, was an active member of the PTO, and supported the Booster Club at Carolina Forest High School.

Lorraine Mallon (R) previously taught at a school on the Fort Bragg military base, served four consecutive terms on the parent advisory board for the Carolina Forest attendance area and on the school improvement councils of the Academy of Arts, Science, and Technology among others. Her campaign platform includes fiscal transparency, including the penny tax,

Board of Education District, 06

Republican candidates will face off in the primary in June; the winner will face Steve Witt (L) in November.

Lyn Bondi (R) - No campaign information is currently available.

Pam Dawson (R) has worked in the Horry County government for almost six years, including as the District 4 Planning Commissioner and the District 4 representative to the Parks and Open Spaces Board of Directors, the Greater Burgess Community Association and the Prince Creek West Road and Parks Association. Her campaign platform includes tackling growth issues and responsible budgeting.

Steve Witt (L) is a veteran of the Army National Guard and has been a truck driver since 2017. His campaign platform includes giving parents a louder voice and removing Critical Race Theory from K-12.

Board of Education District, 07

Janet P. Graham Democratic (Incumbent)has served the board since 2014. She is also a manager for the Myrtle Beach Area Small Business Development Center at Coastal Carolina University. Graham is running unopposed.

Board of Education District, 08

Candidates will face off in the primary in June.

Melanie J Wellons (R-Incumbent) has served the board since 2021. She is also the Vice President of Arnold’s Pools and served five years on the Carolina Forest High School Improvement Council and five years on the Carolina Forest Advisory Board. She was appointed to the seat of the late John Poston, who died in January from COVID-19 complications.

James W Berry (R) is an athletic trainer and teacher at Conway High School. No campaign information is currently available.

Board of Education District, 10

Candidates will face off in the primary in June

Neil James (R-Incumbent) has served the board since 2009. He has a record of scrutinizing the district’s finances, suggesting different funding sources and unpacking the possible repercussions of the district’s revenues and expenditures. James became vice-chair last year after the death of John Poston. He is employed at Santee Cooper.

David Warner (R) has been outspoken about students with disabilities, including his own son, who is autistic, facing extra challenges at Horry County Schools. Warner sued the school district over a request to bring an Applied Behavior Analysis therapist into schools with his son.

Board of Education Chair

Candidates will face off in the primary in June

David E Cox (R) was elected to the board in 2008, serving Districts 9 and 4. His campaign platform includes putting students and their education first.

Darrell Ricketts (R) is an Agricultural Education Teacher at Socastee High School. No campaign information is currently available.

Helen Mason Smith (R) has served the board since 2019 when she was elected to represent District 6. She previously served on the board for 18 years in the late 1980s, and for the last six years of that stint she served as chairman, leaving the board in 2002. Smith’s campaign platform includes providing advanced technology, programs, and facilities for the students while growing responsibly.

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