SC Election Officials Seek Uniform Schedule

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October 13, 2010

By Tyler Millhouse

COLUMBIA, South Carolina: State election officials are seeking to standardize the state's election schedule. Federal and statewide elections always take place on the first Tuesday after the first Monday of November. However, local elections schedules vary by municipality with over half occurring on dates different than the federal date. Fearing that this system leads to voter confusion, state officials have proposed that local elections take place in off years on the standard federal date. This would allow municipalities to keep local and state elections separate while maintaining a standard election date. It could also save on the cost of holding multiple elections across single counties.[1]

Some local officials argue that unique election dates help ensure that voters only vote in elections they care about. On the contrary, proponents of the reforms contend that separating state and local election years will draw more attention to local contests.[1] However with the boom in absentee voting, some may wonder whether traditional voting dates hold the significance they once did. In the 2008 general election, 342,000 (%18) of the state's ballots were cast by absentee voters. Without the increased attention of the presidential election, 2010 are expected to be closer to 2006 figures. There are 2.6 million South Carolinians registered to vote in the general election.[2]

Saturday, October 2 was the last day for voter registration. There are no state senate elections in 2010. Heading into the November 2 general election, Republicans are the majority in the South Carolina House of Representatives.

South Carolina was 41st out of 46 states according to a Ballotpedia competitiveness study.

South Carolina State House

Party As of December 2014
     Democratic Party 46
     Republican Party 77
     Vacant 1
Total 124

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