Democrat Marlon Kimpson seems certain to win today’s special election to fill the state Senate District 42 seat. He has more than 75 percent of the vote so far, with half the precincts reporting.

Kimpson had 3,002 votes, while Republican Billy Shuman had 930. Election officials expect to have the unofficial results before 9 p.m.

The seat has been empty since May, when Sen. Robert Ford resigned amid ethical and health woes.

Voters went to the polls today to choose between Kimpson, a Charleston lawyer; Shuman, a North Charleston real estate agent; and Libertarian Alex Thornton, a professional photographer.

“It’s been a smooth day. We’ve had no issues,” said Patrick Lee, deputy director of the Charleston County Board of Elections and Voter Registration. “Turnout, from waht we do know, is pretty comparable to what we saw in the primary.”

Charleston County has issued 896 absentee ballots, and 732 of them have been returned or cast in person. The district has 61,791 registered voters.

The Senate district covers parts of West Ashley’s oldest neighborhoods, parts of peninsular Charleston and North Charleston.

Reach Robert Behre at 937-5771.