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Election 2014: Statewide races and local tax on the ballot

By Jason Lesley
Coastal Observer

For an “off year” election, next Tuesday’s ballot will present South Carolina voters with plenty of choices. Polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m.

In an unusual matter of timing, the ballot will have two U.S. Senate races. Republican incumbent Tim Scott will be running for the remaining two years of a term won by Jim DeMint four years ago. When DeMint resigned, Scott was appointed to fill the post until the next general election. He will be on the U.S. Senate, Seat 2 ballot along with Democrat Joyce Dickerson and American Party candidate Jill Bossi. Republican incumbent Lindsey Graham is seeking a third term in the state’s U.S. Senate, Seat 1 election. Democrat Brad Hutto, Libertarian Victor Kocher and independent petition candidate Thomas Ravenel oppose Graham.

U.S. Rep. Tom Rice will seek re-election in the Seventh District U.S. House race against the same Democratic challenger he defeated two years ago, Gloria Tinubu.

A gubernatorial election highlights the statewide races on Tuesday. Republican incumbent Nikki Haley will be on the ballot with Democratic Party challenger Vincent Sheheen, Libertarian Steve French and United Citizens Party candidate Morgan Reeves. Independent Tom Ervin dropped out of the race and endorsed Sheheen this week. Haley will make a campaign stop Thursday at 1 p.m. at Nosh in the Hammock Shops.

The lieutenant governor’s race will be the last of its kind in the state. In four years, the governor and lieutenant governor will run on the same ticket. On the ballot will be Republican Henry McMaster and Democrat Bakari Sellers.

Republican incumbents are seeking re-election in the remaining races. Secretary of State Mark Hammond is opposed by Democrat Ginny Deerin. Attorney General Alan Wilson is opposed by Democrat Parnell Diggs. Comptroller General Richard Eckstrom is opposed by Democrat Kyle Herbert. Secretary of Agriculture Hugh Weathers is opposed by Emile DeFelice of the American Party and David Edmond of United Citizens. Treasurer Curtis Loftis and Adjutant General Bob Livingston are unopposed. The state will have a new superintendent of education because incumbent Mick Zais is not seeking re-election. Candidates are Republican Molly Spearman, Democrat Tom Thompson and American Party candidate Ed Murray.

There will be two constitutional amendments on the ballot. The first will allow nonprofit organizations to conduct raffles and use the proceeds for charitable, religious or educational purposes. The second will allow the state’s adjutant general to be appointed by the governor with consent of the state Senate. Members of the state’s General Assembly will set the term, duties, compensation and qualifications for office and how an adjutant general can be removed from office.

There will be two Georgetown County Council races with candidates who are unopposed. Republicans Steve Goggans from District 1, and John Thomas is from District 6.

Also unopposed will be Georgetown County School Board candidates Pat Deleone from District 2 and Johnny Wilson and Jim Dumm, both at large. Voters will also decide an additional penny per dollar sales tax referendum.

Photo identification will be required of voters on Tuesday. Acceptable forms of ID include a state driver’s license, a Department of Motor Vehicles ID card, a voter registration card with photo, a federal military ID or a U.S. passport.

Voters who forget their photo ID’s will be allowed to cast a provisional ballot that will count if they show the election commission their valid ID prior to certification of the election.

Voters who cannot obtain a photo ID may vote a provisional ballot after signing an affidavit stating they have a reasonable impediment to obtaining Photo ID. They still must present a voter registration card.

Registered voters can go to scvotes.org to find their polling place for Tuesday’s election.

Note: This article has been corrected from the print version in which County Council candidate John Thomas was referred to as Steve Thomas.

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