Sample ballots available online from State Election Commission for the first time

Voters line up at Bethany United Methodist Church in 2010. Thanks to a sample ballot generator on the election commission's website, primary voters can see exactly what their ballot will look like before they go to the polls in June.

Voters wanting to know exactly what races they will be voting on have had a tough time in the past, but those days may be over - at least for South Carolina voters with access to the Internet.

The State Election Commission has come up with a way for voters to see a sample of the exact ballot they will see on Election Day.

Before, county election offices and newspapers could not produce such ballots. Depending on a voter's address and the number of contested legislative races, each county prepared dozens - even more than 100 - different ballots.

But a new website can help voters sift through that, and it was unveiled this week. Voters simply must key in their county, name and birth date -and then select either the Republican or Democratic ballot for the June 10 primary.

In the past, election officials have had to look up a voter's registration and manually pair them with the correct ballot, a time-consuming process, said Charleston County Board of Elections and voter Registration director Joe Debney.

"This will be extremely helpful for voters," he said of the change. "We receive requests from voters and the media for this during each major election. This allows a voter to see exactly which ballot they should receive when they walk up to the voting booth."