As Election Day draws near, the stakes are high and questions loom large.
Will Democrats regain control of the House? Can Gov. Henry McMaster win the governorship in his own right, or will Democratic state Rep. James Smith block his efforts?
Will U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham's firebrand speech about Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh drive Republicans to the voting booths, or will it galvanize Democrats to cast protest votes in return?
On Nov. 6, South Carolina voters will get to decide when they head to the polls after being bombarded with political ads, campaign mailers, and yard signs for months.
Here's what you need to know about voting:
I can't vote on Election Day. Can I vote early now?
Yes. South Carolina voters can cast in-person absentee ballots until the Monday before the election. Charleston County has three early voting sites:
North Charleston: Royal Missionary Baptist Church, 4750 Abraham Ave.
Mount Pleasant, Seacoast Church Mount Pleasant, 750 Long Point Road.
West Ashley, Seacoast Church West Ashley, 2049 Savannah Highway.
The hours for all the sites are 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday- Friday. Go to vote.charlestoncounty.org for more information.
*Early absentee voting is not accepted at the county elections office on Headquarters Road.
Berkeley County voters can go to www.berkeleycountysc.gov/drupal/dept/voters for information.
Dorchester County voters can go to dorchestervotes.org for information.
On Election Day, where do I vote?
It depends on where you live. Your voting precinct and polling place are determined by your address, and should be listed on your voter registration card.
To check your voting location, visit the State Election Commission website at scvotes.org. On the homepage, click the tab that says “Voters.” Then, click “Check your voter registration.” You can also contact your county voter registration office.
Polls will be open from 7 a.m.-7 p.m.
What should I bring?
To vote in the election, you will need one of the following forms of photo ID:
- S.C. driver’s license
- U.S. passport
- Federal military ID
- S.C. Department of Motor Vehicles ID card
- S.C. voter registration card with photo
If you do not have proper photo ID but are registered to vote, you can cast a provisional ballot.
What is the constitutional amendment on my ballot?
In addition to voting for candidates, voters will get to weigh in on whether a change should be made to South Carolina's constitution so that the education superintendent is appointed by the governor.
If the vote fails, the method by general election will stay in place. Otherwise, the governor would make the Cabinet pick beginning in 2023.
What's at stake?
For starters, control of the U.S. House of Representatives. This election cycle, all 435 House seats are up for grabs. Democrats, who are trying to regain control of the legislative body, need to win 24 seats to make that happen.
In South Carolina, there are seven congressional districts. The Lowcountry's 1st Congressional District race between Republican Katie Arrington and Democrat Joe Cunningham is considered the congressional race to watch in South Carolina for a few reasons.
This is also the first time that the governor and lieutenant governor have run on a joint ticket, similar to the way presidential and vice presidential candidates do.
Throughout the state and Lowcountry there are multiple races to consider, ranging from the constitutional offices, to Congress, county councils and school boards.
For more information on all of the races and candidates on this year’s ballot by jurisdiction, on the web go to the nonpartisan League of Women Voters 2018 candidate data website at Vote411.org.
On the site, voters can type in their addresses to see which candidates they are eligible to select across their local ballots.
I need a ride to the polls. What do I do?
The Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority service will be free on Election Day.
For more information on routes and schedules, visit RideCARTA.com, now featuring a live chat option, or call (843) 724-7420.