By Scott Harper
From president to auditor, sheriff, clerk of court and several other races -- voters will make their voices heard on Tuesday.
But not everyone waited until Tuesday to cast a ballot. As of Thursday afternoon, 7,475 Georgetown County residents had either voted absentee or had requested an absentee ballot, according to Voter Registration Director Donna Mahn.
There are about 40,000 registered voters in Georgetown County.
About 6,000 absentee ballots were cast in Georgetown County in 2008.
This year's election is unique because of the unusually high number of petition candidates who were forced to collect signatures to get on the ballot.
The state Supreme Court ruled hundreds of candidates statewide had to be removed from Republican and Democrat ballots because their statements of economic interest forms were not properly filed.
Mahn said there is a mechanism for people who choose to do so to vote a straight party ticket and vote for one or more of the petition candidates.
If someone votes straight Republican or Democrat, they will not be casting a vote for a petition candidate.
Mahn said in "crossover voting" a person can vote straight party then cast a vote for the petition candidate of their choice.
When that is done, it will cancel the straight party vote for that particular race only, Mahn said.
There have been instances reported in early voting in Ohio and North Carolina of someone casting a vote for one candidate with the machine showing they had voted for that person's opponent.
Mahn said when that happens it's usually caused by human error. She said the voting machines are very sensitive and something such as a touch on the screen by a shirt sleeve can cause a vote to change.
That, Mahn said, is why it is very important for voters to review the confirmation screen before actually submitting their vote.
It will be busy
Despite the huge number of absentee votes that have already been cast, there are still tens of thousands of Georgetown County voters who have not yet cast ballots.
Mahn said about 200 poll workers have volunteered to help Tuesday's election run as smoothly as possible.
"Be prepared to wait," Mahn said.
One thing that will help the lines move at a faster pace will be for voters to know who they are voting for in each race before going into the booth.
By law, each voter is supposed to be given only three minutes to vote but, Mahn said, that rule is hardly ever enforced.
No candidate promotion
Mahn reminds voters they cannot wear anything into a polling place that promotes a candidate on one side or another on any referendum question.
Also, there cannot be any such promotion within 200 feet of the entrance to each polling place. This includes, Mahn said, bumper stickers on vehicles.
Candidates are allowed at the entryway of polling places -- and can even verbally ask for votes -- but they cannot hand out any materials.
Where to vote?
The polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
* Andrews -- National Guard Armory at 401 West Main St.
* Andrews Outside -- National Guard Armory at 401 West Main St.
* Bethel -- Georgetown Fire/EMS, 303 Georgetown Highway.
* Black River -- Georgetown Community Church, 249 Wedgefield Rd.
* Browns Ferry -- Browns Ferry School, 7292 Browns Ferry Rd.
* Carvers Bay -- Carvers Bay High School
* Cedar Creek -- Lamberttown Fire Station, 290 Windum Dr.
* Choppee -- Choppee Regional Resource Center, 8189 Choppee Rd.
* Folly Grove -- Folly Grove Community Center, 2226 Folly Grove Rd.
* Georgetown No. 1 -- Georgetown County Library, 405 Cleland St.
* Georgetown No. 2 -- Dreamkeepers Community Cultural Arts Center, 1623 Gilbert St.
* Georgetown No. 3 -- Beck Administration and Education Center, 2018 Church St.
* Georgetown No. 4 -- Georgetown Presbyterian Church, 558 Black River Rd.
* Georgetown No. 5 -- Maryville Elementary School, 2125 Poplar St.
* Kensington -- Kensington Elementary School, 86 Kensington Blvd.
* Murrells Inlet No. 1 -- First Baptist Church, 3891 Highway 17, Murrells Inlet.
* Murrells Inlet No. 2 -- Greater Gordon Chapel AME Church, 4581 Old River Rd.
* Murrells Inlet 3 -- Murrells Inlet Fire Station, 4463 New River Road.
* Murrells Inlet 4 -- Community Center, 4450 Murrells Inlet Rd.
* Myersville -- St. Paul AME Church, 5348 Exodus Dr.
* Pawleys Island No. 1 -- St. Paul's United Methodist Church, Willbrook Plantation, Highway 17.
* Pawleys Island No. 2 -- All Saints Church, 3560 Kings River Road
* Pawleys Island 3 -- Pawleys Island Community Church, 10304 Ocean Highway
* Pawleys Island No. 4 -- Lowcountry Day School, 300 Blue Stem Dr.
* Pawleys Island No. 5 -- Waccamaw High School, 2412 Kings River Rd.
* Pee Dee -- Pee Dee Community Center, 1336 Cohen Dr.
* Pennyroyal -- National Guard Armory 3777 South Fraser St.
* Plantersville -- Plantersville Community Center, 1458 Exodus Dr.
* Pleasant Hill -- Pleasant Hill Elementary School, 127 Schoolhouse Rd.
* Potato Bed Ferry -- Potato Bed Ferry Community Center, 531 Big Dam Swamp Dr.
* Sampit -- Sampit Elementary School, 92 Woodland Ave.
* Santee -- Santee Community Center, 1484 Mt. Zion Ave.
* Spring Gully -- McDonald School, 12-B McDonald Rd.
* Winyah Bay -- National Guard Armory, 3777 South Fraser St.
After the polls close, the Georgetown Times will provide results on our Website -- www.gtowntimes.com.
For questions, call Voter Registration at 843-545-3339, or visit www.georgetowncountysc.org/voterreg.
To contact the local parties call:
Democratic Party - 240-3396 Nancy Kolman
Republican Party - 240-9456 - Jim Jerow