Save the Date: June 8, 2010

The 2010 primary election in South Carolina will take place on June 8. Judging by the numbers, you likely have no idea there is an election in June or you do know but have no intention to participate.

First, some numbers. 2006 was the last year we had statewide elections.

  • Total turnout among registered voters: 17.57% (11.50% Republican, 6.06% Democrat)
  • Counties with highest GOP turnout among registered voters: Newberry (20.85%), Lexington (19.45%), and Berkeley (19.21%)
  • Counties with highest Democratic turnout among registered voters: Hampton (44.14%), Williamsburg (28.39%), and Bamberg (27.86%)

For being a red state, there are seven counties with higher Democratic turnout than the GOP’s highest turnout county.

If “I didn’t know” is your reason not to vote in the primary, now you do know. So make sure you vote. Do you have another reason not to vote in the primary? Read on…

I’m not registered to vote because I’ll get called for jury duty
I think most states are a few steps ahead of you on that. South Carolina, for example, uses driver’s license information and state-issued ID information to select potential jurors. In SC, 55.7% of residents were registered to vote in 2006, based on population estimates. You’re too late to register to vote for the primary, but you should register in time for the general election in November.

I don’t like who my party picked to run for office
Guess what? The primary is the time when “my party” picks the nominee, at least in South Carolina. You need to vote in the June primary to help determine who is on the ballot in November. I think this year is an excellent election year because of the variety of candidates running for each office. If you are one of the “throw the bums out” types of people, there are plenty of, uh, not bums (?) for whom to vote.

It’s June and I’m definitely going to be at the beach/in jail/somewhere that isn’t here on June 8
Vote absentee. I did it in the 2004 general election. It’s a very simple process. Just contact your county board of elections by June 4 to request a ballot.

There’s an election? Okay, there’s one thing I learned today. Now how do I know who’s running?
SCVotes really is a one-stop shop. They have a useful list of who’s running for most major offices. (Hint: Lieutentant Governor, Superintendent of Education, etc fall under “Constitutional Officers”). A Google search will lead you to each candidates’ website.

I’ve voted in every primary since I became eligible to vote because I know that is my best opportunity to vote for the people I want in office. In the past there were not quite as many people running for each office as there are this year. Take the time to consider each candidate and take advantage of the opportunity for such choices.

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