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What SC voters should know about runoff elections, with early voting starting Wednesday

A voting machine at the Lexington County early voting site, pictured May 31, 2022
A voting machine at the Lexington County early voting site, pictured May 31, 2022(Mary Green)
Published: Jun. 21, 2022 at 6:13 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - South Carolina voters will be able to head back to the polls starting Wednesday to cast their ballots for the June 28 primary runoff elections.

These runoffs will decide which candidates will appear on the ballot in the November general election, after no one in those races received more than 50% of the vote in last week’s primaries.

Because statewide races from the Republican and Democratic primaries are heading to runoffs — the Republican primary for state superintendent of education and the Democratic primary for US Senate — everyone who voted in the June primary is eligible to cast their ballots in a runoff.

However, they can only vote in the party’s runoff in which they voted in the primary, so someone who voted in the Republican primary may vote in the statewide Republican runoff and any Republican runoffs applicable to the area where they live, and the same applies for those who voted in the Democratic primary.

People who did not vote in the June primary can also vote in either party’s runoffs, but they have to pick one, as they cannot vote in both.

Under South Carolina’s new election law, early in-person voting will be available this week from Wednesday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., with at least one early voting site open in each county. Voters will need to bring their photo ID or voter registration card.

For those voters who qualify for absentee voting by mail, the deadline has already passed to submit an application. People who receive these ballots need to complete them and turn them in by mail or in person by 7 p.m. on runoff election day, June 28.

South Carolinians can cast their ballots in person next Tuesday as well.

Polls will be open that day from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and the State Election Commission advises voters to figure out where their polling place is ahead time because it may have changed. Again, voters will need to bring their photo ID or voter registration card.

Anyone voting in the Republican runoff will be able to select between Kathy Maness and Ellen Weaver in the state superintendent of education race, with the winner facing Democrat Lisa Ellis in the general election. No Democrat has won statewide office in South Carolina in more than 15 years, so the Republican candidate will likely be considered the favorite heading into November.

People voting in the Democratic runoff can pick between Catherine Fleming Bruce and state Rep. Krystle Matthews in the US Senate race, challenging incumbent Republican Sen. Tim Scott this fall.

Certain voters will see additional runoffs on their ballots, depending on where they live, and in a few of those races, the stakes will be higher than deciding who will appear on the November ballot.

In some races, no one from an opposing party is running, so the winner of the runoff will win the seat. That includes the Republican race for District 30 in the state House of Representatives (Cherokee and Spartanburg); the Republican primary in House District 40 (Newberry and Lexington); and the Democratic primary in House District 101 (Berkeley, Florence, and Williamsburg), which pits two incumbent House Democrats, state Rep. Roger Kirby and state Rep. Cezar McKnight, against each other.

Other runoffs in races for seats in the state House of Representatives, which will face opposition in November, include a Republican runoff in House District 48 (York); Republican runoff in House District 106 (Horry); and a Democratic runoff in House District 25 (Greenville).

Here is the full county-by-county list of races in the June 28 runoff:

Allendale

  • Sheriff – Democratic
  • County Council District 3 – Democratic

Berkeley

  • State House District 101 – Democratic
  • County Council District 6 – Republican

Cherokee

  • State House District 30 – Republican
  • County Council District 2 – Republican

Chesterfield

  • Sheriff – Republican

Colleton

  • County Council At-Large – Democratic

Florence

  • State House District 101 – Democratic
  • City Council District 1 – Democratic

Greenville

  • State House District 25 – Democratic
  • County Council District 19 – Republican

Greenwood

  • County Council District 3 – Democratic

Horry

  • State House District 106 – Republican
  • County Council Chair – Republican
  • County Council District 8 – Republican
  • Board of Education Chair – Republican

Kershaw

  • County Council District 5 – Republican
  • County Council District 6 – Republican

Lexington

  • State House District 40 – Republican

Marion

  • County Council District 3 – Democratic
  • County Council District 5 – Democratic

Marlboro

  • County Council District 4 – Democratic

Newberry

  • State House District 40 – Republican

Richland

  • County Council District 11 – Democratic

Spartanburg

  • State House District 30 – Republican

Williamsburg

  • State House District 101 – Democratic

York

  • State House District 48 – Republican

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