Fewer than one in six registered South Carolina voters cast ballots in the June 10 Democratic and Republican primaries. The turnout will likely be even lower for Tuesday's runoffs.

This is more sad evidence that while many Americans complain about the jobs done by our elected officials, not nearly so many exercise their fundamental right to choose them.

And while the June 10 turnout was about 15 percent statewide, it was much lower in some races.

For instance, the turnout was a scant 7.5 percent in the Republican primary for the S.C. House District 98 seat. Incumbent Chris Murphy won that race over Dorchester County Councilman Larry Hargett.

In a guest column on our Commentary page Friday, Mr. Hargett thanked the 47 percent of voters who backed him. But he also rightly warned that our self-governing system "is being eroded by the ever-dwindling lack of voter interest and participation in the democratic election process."

The voters interested enough to show up Tuesday will determine the Democratic and Republican nominees for the crucial post of state superintendent of education. The Democratic runoff is between Sheila Gallagher and Tom Thompson; the Republican runoff is between Sally Atwater and Molly Spearman.

There's also a Republican runoff for lieutenant governor - Mike Campbell vs. Henry McMaster.

The Republican nominations for Berkeley County supervisor (incumbent Dan Davis vs. Moncks Corner Mayor Bill Peagler) and the Berkeley County Council District 6 seat (James Law vs. incumbent Jack Schurlknight) are on the line, too.

If you didn't vote on June 10, you can vote in either party's runoff election. If you did vote on June 10, you can vote in that same party's runoff Tuesday.

And if you don't vote, you don't get any say in who wins elective office - and who represents you in the halls of power.