Elections

Absentee voting open in Richland and Lexington counties

Voters in Richland and Lexington counties can cast their vote before the June 14 statewide primary. The Richland County Elections & Voter Registration office will open satellite absentee precincts through from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 10 for absentee voting. Residents can visit one of five locations to vote absentee: Garners Ferry Adult Activity Center, 8620 Garners Ferry Road…

Richland County Council District 10 primary ends in runoff

Tuesday’s Democratic primary for the vacant Richland County Council District 10 seat is headed for a runoff. None of the five contenders earned the majority vote needed to seal a victory. Richland County voters steadily came out for the Tuesday special election to vote for a new District 10 representative. (Photo by Kelly Petty) Local attorney Dalhi Myers and former Richland County…

Referendum request triggers debate over Richland County election spending

Ongoing tensions surrounding the budget for Richland County’s Voter Registration and Elections Department and the County Council’s role in setting that budget came to fore Wednesday during a meeting of the county’s Elections Commission. What should have been a simple vote erupted into an argument involving some elections commissioners and representatives of a neighborhood group that is requesting a special…

Richland County Council reverses decision, won’t provide more election funds this year

The Richland County Council on Tuesday denied a request by the county’s Voter Registration and Elections office for more than $229,000 to pay for license fees for ballot machines and extra supplies to run the remaining elections this year. The request was denied because it did not receive a majority vote. The vote was a 5-5 split of the council’s…

Ballot set for June 14 South Carolina primary elections

Primary election ballots all across South Carolina can be sent to the printers, as the deadline for candidates to file their paperwork at their local elections offices passed at noon today. All that’s left now is for voters to go to the polls on June 14. Notable primary races in Lexington and Richland counties include people who currently hold local…

Richland County Council approves special election for District 10 seat

Richland County could spend more than $96,000 to fill the vacant seat in District 10 previously held by Kelvin Washington. The County Council on Tuesday approved holding a special election for Washington’s former seat and paying for the election with funds from the county’s general operating budget. “This is an election that no one foresaw, could not have been predicted…

Filing update: Primary races fill up in Lexington, Richland counties

The ballot for the June 14 primary is getting longer as candidates grow in number for federal, state and county offices. Filing opened last Wednesday, and since then many locals seeking county council seats and seats in the state legislature have filed their candidacies. Two races to watch will be for Lexington County sheriff and Richland County sheriff. Jay Koon…

First Richland County candidates file for June primary election

Richland County’s Voter Registration and Elections Office was a busy place Wednesday and Thursday, as a large cohort of candidates chose the first day possible to file the necessary paperwork to have their names included on the June 14 primary election ballot. Laura Sterling (R-Bluffton) made it official that she will run for the U.S. congressional seat held by Democratic…

Washington’s former constituents concerned about lack of representation

It is a tumultuous time for residents in District 10 of Richland County. Their County Council representative, Kelvin Washington, was removed from office Wednesday by an executive order issued by Gov. Nikki Haley. And a date for a special election to fill the now-vacant seat has yet to be determined. Former District 10 County Councilman Kelvin Washington (Photo provided) At least…

Spring candidate filing opens; Lexington County to have several contested races

From clerk of court to coroner to county council, several local offices in Lexington County are being contested this election season. Candidate filing opened Wednesday for multiple offices, including Lexington County sheriff, Lexington County coroner and five county council seats. Incumbent Sheriff Jay Koon is the only person to file so far for the job overseeing the county’s law enforcement. Koon…

Audit ordered for Richland County elections office

Richland County’s Voter Registration and Elections office got part of its wish for more money to run this year’s elections Tuesday, but with an important stipulation. The Voter Registration and Elections office will receive more than $229,000 to pay for licensing and equipment needed to run the June presidential primaries and the November general election. In return, the office will undergo an…

Chapin resident to run for Lexington County register of deeds

The first candidate has come forth to seek the position being vacated this spring by retiring Lexington County Register of Deeds Debbie Gunter. Tina Guerry (Photo provided) Republican Tina Guerry of Chapin, a lifelong Lexington County resident, has announced her candidacy in the June 14 primary election. “Debbie Gunter has been a dedicated public servant whose example all public officials would…

Hillary Clinton decisively takes South Carolina in presidential preference primary

Hillary Clinton trounced challenger Bernie Sanders during Saturday night’s First of the South Democratic presidential preference primary in South Carolina. The former Secretary of State beat the Vermont senator by taking about 73 percent overall among the state’s voters. Clinton took 75 percent of the vote in Richland County and 61 percent percent in Lexington. Sanders earned 25 percent of…

Trump wins South Carolina Republican primary

Republican voters in South Carolina helped push presidential nominee Donald Trump to victory Saturday night in the state’s GOP primary. The real estate business mogul earned 32.4 percent of the vote across the state over his five opponents, according to unofficial results. U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida came in behind Trump with 22.4 percent of the vote. Republican voters…

Vote 2016: Richland, Lexington counties gear up for presidential party primaries

Election officials in Richland and Lexington counties are preparing for the upcoming Republican and Democratic presidential preference primaries. “We’re ready to go,” Richland County Elections Director Samuel Selph said. The Republican primary will be held Saturday, Feb. 20, while the Democratic primary is the following Saturday, Feb. 27. Selph said about 900 ballot machines will be used in both primaries. Those include…

2 candidates file for vacant Lexington Three school board seat

A special election has been scheduled for next month to fill a seat on a local school board. Benjie Rikard resigned from the Lexington Three School Board in November for health reasons. The election to replace him is Feb. 2. According to the Lexington County Elections Commission, Brian Yarborough and Lancer Shull filed to run in the election. Rikard’s term is set…

Columbia City Council ushers in ‘new beginnings’ with newly-elected members

Columbia City Council is trying to build “One Columbia” with a new set of council members who will change the face of the elected body in the coming year. Councilmen Howard Duvall and Rev. Ed McDowell were sworn in Tuesday afternoon, along with returning member Moe Baddourah, in front of a packed crowd of supporters and family. Howard Duvall takes…

Columbia voters elect Howard Duvall, Ed McDowell to City Council in runoff

Columbia’s City Council is getting some fresh faces. Howard Duvall and Ed McDowell defeated opponents Andy Smith and Aaron Bishop for seats on council in Tuesday’s runoff election. Duvall, the at-large winner, earned 66 percent of the vote with 4,894 votes over Smith. McDowell, the new District 2 representative, edged out Bishop with 820 votes for 51 percent of the votes….

Former SLED agent to challenge Lott in Richland County sheriff election

The election is a year away, but a former Gamecock football player and former SLED agent has announced his plan to run for sheriff of Richland County. James Flowers (photo provided) will run for Richland County sheriff. James Flowers, now a law enforcement consultant, will take on incumbent Sheriff Leon Lott in the Democratic primary. Voters will choose a sheriff in November 2016….

Columbia City Council elections end in runoff as challengers edge out mayor’s picks

The election for the two biggest races for Columbia City Council are headed for runoff after a close race Tuesday, and candidates endorsed by Mayor Steve Benjamin were topped by challengers. No candidate earned enough votes to avoid the runoff. Ed McDowell took in about 37 percent of the vote for the District 2 seat. Aaron Bishop, who as endorsed by Benjamin, finished with…

Irmo mayor wins re-election; new council members elected to several municipalities

Voters elected several new faces to represent them in smaller municipalities in Lexington and Richland counties. Chapin, Pelion, Batesburg-Leesville and Arcadia Lakes held elections Tuesday as did Irmo. Town of Irmo Irmo Mayor Hardy King faced opposition from another elected official but was re-elected in a tight race. Unofficial results from Lexington and Richland counties have King defeating challenger Councilman Paul Younginer…