With the Democratic and Republican primaries coming up Tuesday, T&D Region voters should be aware they can only vote in one of the party primaries.
And while officials with both parties want voters to participate in their primary, Orangeburg County Democratic Party Chairman Kenny Glover says it’s important for everyone to be engaged.
"I would encourage everyone to exercise their constitutional right to vote," Glover said.
Orangeburg County Director of Voter Registration and Elections Aurora Smalls says when voters go to the polls Tuesday, they will be asked by poll workers what primary they would like to vote in.
The poll worker will then help the voter cast a ballot in the proper primary.
If a runoff is required on June 26, voters will only be allowed to participate in the runoff of the party they voted with on Tuesday.
"If they only have a runoff for a Republican, they can't vote if they voted Democrat the first time," Smalls said.
Orangeburg County Republican Party Chairman Jim Ulmer encourages those who identify with Republicans to vote in the Republican primary, noting there are a lot of contested statewide races including for governor, secretary of state and attorney general.
Ulmer says about 30 to 40 percent of the votes for governor typically come from the Upstate.
"It is important for Orangeburg County Republicans to vote in the Orangeburg County primary," Ulmer said. "We need to have our voices heard down here in the Midlands."
Glover encourages Orangeburg County voters to vote in the Democratic Party primary because of the number of local races.
"A lot of time with local races, people vote for the party that will do more for them on the local level," he said.
This Tuesday, voters will be able to cast their ballots for several seats and offices both on the state and county level.
Contested seats in the Democratic primary in Orangeburg County include: County Council District 6, Orangeburg County auditor and S.C. House District 95.
Contested local seats in Bamberg County's Democratic primary include auditor and treasurer.
There are no local contested Democratic primary races in Calhoun County.
Democratic primary ballots will differ slightly depending on what district a person lives in. For example, individuals not living in Orangeburg County Council District 6 will not be able to vote for candidates vying for that seat.
Republican primary ballots will be the same throughout Bamberg, Calhoun and Orangeburg counties because there are no local contested races in the primary.
Statewide offices will appear on all ballots.
Smalls anticipates there will be a good turnout in the primaries.
"The absentees have been kind of busy," she said.
In addition to voting for various offices and seats, voters will also have two questions on their ballots.
In the Democratic primary, the “yes” or “no” questions are:
• Do you support passing a state law allowing doctors to prescribe medical marijuana to patients?
• Do you support passing a state law requiring the governor of South Carolina to accept all federal revenues offered to support Medicaid and Medicaid expansion efforts in the state?
The “yes” or “no” questions on the Republican primary ballot are:
• Do you believe that voters should have the option to choose to affiliate with a political party when they register to vote or change their voter registration in South Carolina?
• Do you believe that South Carolina's tax code should be brought into conformity with the new Trump tax cuts in the federal tax code for maximum simplification and to lower the overall tax burden on South Carolina taxpayers and businesses?
The following is a list of contested races both in the Democratic and Republican primaries June 12.
ORANGEBURG COUNTY DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY
Orangeburg County Council District 6
Ray Wannamaker Sabalis
S.C. House District 95
Gene Gartman Jr.
Orangeburg County Auditor
Anthony Duke Hallmon
Vickie Amaker Haynes
U.S. House of Rep. District 2
BAMBERG COUNTY DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY
Bamberg County Auditor
Brandi J. Napier
Rosa Robinson Verner
Bamberg County Treasurer
Alice P. Johnson
Cynthia Summers McMillan
STATEWIDE DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY RACES
STATEWIDE REPUBLICAN PRIMARY RACES
John Yancey McGill
Secretary of State