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Despite concerns surrounding Tropical Storm Irma, the City of Orangeburg’s election will still be held today.

Orangeburg County Voter Registration Director Aurora Smalls said every polling location will be open.

“We don’t have the authority to cancel any election,” Smalls said.

Voters will decide who the City of Orangeburg’s mayor and District 1 and District 3 council members will be for the next four years.

The county is ready for the election.

“We’ve delivered machines already and our clerks are picking up the materials already,” Smalls said. Polling places will have paper ballots in case there are power outages.

Her only concern is “whether all citizens will be able to leave their home.”

Mayoral candidates in the election are incumbent Michael Butler and former mayor Paul Miller.

In the District 1 race, incumbent Richard Stroman is being challenged by Jim Johnson.

Charles “Buddy” Barnwell, who holds the District 3 seat, is being challenged by Gene Gartman Jr. and Jerry Hannah.

The term is also expiring for Councilwoman L. Zimmerman Keitt’s District 5 seat. No one filed to oppose her, so Keitt automatically wins re-election and her name will not appear on the ballot.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Voters who are blind, physically disabled or unable to read or write are entitled to assistance in casting their ballot.

Voters who are unable to enter their polling place due to physical handicap or are 65 years of age or older may vote from their vehicle. When notified, the polling location will help voters using a curbside voting provision.

At the polls, voters will be required to show one of the following forms of photo identification:

• S.C. driver’s license

• S.C. Department of Motor Vehicles ID card

• S.C. Voter Registration Card with photo

• Federal military ID

• U.S. passport

Voters who forget their photo ID may vote using a provisional ballot but must show an ID prior to the certification of the election.

People with a reasonable impediment to getting a photo ID can vote if they sign an affidavit stating why. Bring your non-photo voter registration card to the polling place.

Polling locations are:

• Ward 1: Orangeburg Arts Center (River Pavilion), 619 Riverside Drive

• Ward 2: Orangeburg County Chamber of Commerce, 155 Riverside Drive SW

• Ward 3: Mellichamp Elementary School, 350 Murray Road

• Ward 4: Smith-Hammond-Middleton Memorial Center, 200 Buckley St.

• Ward 5: Zimmerman Youth Center, 759 Peasley St.

• Ward 6: Youth Canteen, 1620 Middleton St.

• Ward 7: Sheridan Elementary School, 1139 Hillsboro Road

• Ward 8: William J. Clark Middle School, 919 Bennett Ave.

• Ward 9: Marshall Elementary School, 1441 Marshall Ave.

• Ward 10: Sheridan Elementary School, 1139 Hillsboro Road

• Suburban 1: Robert Howard Middle School, 1255 Belleville Road

• Suburban 3: Orangeburg Area Development Center (OADC), 1060 Pineland St.

• Suburban 4: Orangeburg Municipal Airport, 1811 Airport Road

• Suburban 8: Marshall Elementary School, 1441 Marshall Ave.

• Absentee / Barrier Free: Human Resource Center, 2570 St. Matthews Road

Contact the writer: jmack@timesanddemocrat.com or 803-533-5516.

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Government Reporter

John Mack is a 2016 graduate of Claflin University. He is an Orangeburg native.

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