Turnout was extremely light for voting in most parts of the state Tuesday, as rain and a court decision turned many voters away.
There were very few competitive races after nearly 250 candidates were removed from the ballot statewide. The South Carolina Supreme Court ruled ineligible those candidates who had not turned in an economic interest statement at the same time they filed to run.
“Everybody that’s reporting back says that our turnout is very low,” said Charleston County GOP Chair Lin Bennett, “And it’s pouring down rain, as well.”
Charleston affiliate WTMA reported that most of the few voters who turned out to a West Ashley precinct in Charleston County said they were frustrated with the court’s decision.
“I think it’s the dumbest thing I ever heard of,” said one man who did not want to give his name, “I’m really disgusted that I can’t vote for the people that I want to vote for.”
Over in the northeastern corner of the state, voters chose candidates for the area’s new seventh seat in Congress. Nine Republicans and four Democrats sought their party’s nominations. One of them, Democrat Gloria Bromell-Tinubu, was keeping an eye out for the usual wave of voters to cast ballots in the evening.
“In a community where people work, you’d expect to see the numbers go up in the evening when people are off from work,” she told South Carolina Radio Network.
Tinubu is a former Georgia legislator who is originally from Georgetown County. She was running for the Democratic nomination against Preston Brittain, Parnell Diggs, and Harry Pavilack.
In downtown Columbia, a heavily Democratic precinct of 1335 active had 69 cast ballots by 6:15 p.m. Poll manager Earl Brown says this is lowest turnout in his 15 years. There was only one race to vote for there, between Democrats Norman Jackson and Robert Rikard to challenge District 20 Senator John Courson in November.