Democratic and Republican voters head to the polls Tuesday to make their picks in federal, state and local primaries as they select party choices for the November ballot.
There's also a good chance those same voters will have to come out again in two weeks - June 24 - as several of the battles have multiple candidates.
The races would go to a runoff election if the first-place finisher fails to get the necessary 50-percent-plus-one majority needed to be declared the winner outright.
Polls are open statewide from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Anyone wishing to cast a ballot in either party primary is asked to bring one of five pieces of identification to the polling place: a South Carolina driver's license, a S.C.-issued ID card, a passport, a military ID card, or a voter registration card with photo.
For more information on the ballot and other election matters, and to see a customized sample ballot, please visit SCVotes.org.
Statewide, turnout is expected to be low, with few of the races generating much heated interest among the party faithful.
More than 26,000 absentee votes have been cast so far, which is slower than the rate of four years ago but ahead of 2012, when there were no statewide races on the ballot.
Monday brought a high volume of early voters, however, according to Joe Debney, executive director of the Charleston County Board of Elections and Voter Registration.
"We have had more absentee voters today than we have had at any other time, which is typical," he said.
About 1,715 people had cast an absentee ballot by midday, he said, putting Charleston County third in the state in terms of activity, behind Richland (first-place) and Greenville (second-place) counties.
Some of the most-cluttered ballot races include:
In one of two U.S. Senate seats up this year, on the Republican side, two-term incumbent Sen. Lindsey Graham faces six challengers: Columbia pastor Det Bowers; Spartanburg state Sen. Lee Bright; Upstate businessman Richard Cash; Orangeburg attorney Bill Connor; Columbia attorney Benjamin Dunn; and Charleston businesswoman Nancy Mace. On the Democratic side, Orangeburg state Sen. Brad Hutto faces Jay Stamper of Columbia.
In the state's other U.S. Senate race, Republican incumbent Tim Scott faces a primary challenge from Upstate resident Randall Young.
The Democratic field consists of Richland County Councilwoman Joyce Dickerson, Rock Hill resident Sidney Moore and Harry Pavilack of Myrtle Beach.
In the Republican race for lieutenant governor, four candidates are on the ballot, with the winner facing Democrat Bakari Sellers in the fall. Incumbent Glenn McConnell is retiring to become president of the College of Charleston.
The GOP candidates are: Mike Campbell, son of former Gov. Carroll Campbell; Charleston businessman Pat McKinney; former S.C. Attorney General Henry McMaster; and Ray Moore of Columbia.
The state superintendent of education race, meanwhile, has drawn the largest field of hopefuls from both sides of the aisle. The Republican lineup includes: Sally Atwater, Gary Burgess, Meka Bosket Childs, Amy Cofield, Sheri Few, Don Jordan, Elizabeth Moffly, and Molly Spearman.
Democrats on the ballot are: Montrio Belton, Sheila Gallagher, Jerry Govan, and Tom Thompson.
Reach Schuyler Kropf at 937-5551
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