Despite concerns that Hurricane Irma would deter voters in Tuesday’s Orangeburg City Council election, polling locations reported no signs of lower turnouts.
“The community has been coming in ever since 7 a.m.,” Amanda Charley said.
Charley helped voters at Sheridan Elementary School.
Working alongside her was Arnitha Butler.
“We thought it would have an impact as well,” Butler said.
She added that by midday, they were reported to have one of the highest polling location turnouts in the area with 208 votes cast.
Sylvia Harley said, “We have been getting a lot of people despite the weather.”
Harley added that the machines were not giving them any problems either.
“We haven’t had any kinds of difficulties with the machines,” she said. “It’s been outstanding.”
Janice Kemmerlin at the Orangeburg County Fine Arts Centers said, “It hasn’t held none back!”
She said their machines were also working as intended with no issues to report.
“We’ve done very good,” Kemmerlin said.
At Marshall Elementary School, Elizabeth Corley said they were getting “lots more than I expected.”
Stella Amaker laughed saying, “They’re coming in and going out.”
Geneva Sharrow, who was working the Clark Middle School ward, was pleasantly surprised by the number of voters they received by the afternoon.
“Really we’ve had good turnouts today considering this ward,” Sharrow said.
In the election, the city is faced with a familiar choice between current mayor Michael Butler and former mayor Paul Miller.
Every polling location was kept open despite the storm, which passed through Monday evening.
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 until 7 p.m. The following polling locations are open:
• Ward 1: Orangeburg Arts Center (River Pavilion), 619 Riverside Drive, Orangeburg, SC
• Ward 2: Orangeburg County Chamber of Commerce, 155 Riverside Drive, SW, Orangeburg, SC
• Ward 3: Mellichamp Elementary School, 350 Murray Road, Orangeburg, SC
• Ward 4: Smith-Hammond-Middleton Memorial Center, 200 Buckley Street, Orangeburg, SC
• Ward 5: Zimmerman Youth Center, 759 Peasley Street, Orangeburg, SC
• Ward 6: Youth Canteen, 1620 Middleton St, Orangeburg, SC
• Ward 7: Sheridan Elementary School, 1139 Hillsboro Road, Orangeburg, SC
• Ward 8: William J. Clark Middle School, 919 Bennett Avenue, Orangeburg, SC
• Ward 9: Marshall Elementary School, 1441 Marshall Avenue, Orangeburg, SC
• Ward 10: Sheridan Elementary School, 1139 Hillsboro Road, Orangeburg, SC
• Suburban 1: Robert Howard Middle School, 1255 Belleville Road, Orangeburg, SC
• Suburban 3: Orangeburg Area Development Center (OADC), 1060 Pineland Street, Orangeburg, SC
• Suburban 4: Orangeburg Municipal Airport, 1811 Airport Road, Orangeburg, SC
• Suburban 8: Marshall Elementary School, 1441 Marshall Avenue, Orangeburg, SC
• Absentee / Barrier Free: Human Resource Center, 2570 St Matthews Road