A lack of interesting races, too many negative ads, a record hot day -whatever the reason, relatively few Lowcountry voters turned out to vote in Tuesday's primaries.

Berkeley, Dorchester and Charleston counties had turnouts of 17.1 percent, 13.7 percent and 11.2 percent, respectively. Berkeley might have led because it featured contested local primaries for supervisor and sheriff.

Charleston County Board of Elections and Voter Registration director Joe Debney called the turnout "kind of what we expected. I guess the candidates haven't sparked an interest. I don't know what the reason is."

Democratic voter Rhonda Smith said she was more interested in the non-binding referendum questions on medical marijuana and gambling than in the party's primary candidates. "I voted yes on all of them," she said.

In Dorchester County, elections director Joshua Dickard said the voting went smoothly with a very light turnout.

If there was an upside to the tepid turnout, it was that no one had to wait long to vote, though the precinct at Goose Creek High School opened a little later than planned because of a last-minute location change within the school.

While the state had one Republican U.S. Senate primary with seven candidates, including Sen. Lindsey Graham, there were few other high-profile races. Unlike four years ago, neither party featured a primary for governor.

South Carolina has 2.84 million registered voters, but with 96 percent of the results in, about 293,000 Republicans and 109,000 Democrats had voted - or a cumulative turnout of 14 percent.

Reach Robert Behre at 937-5771.