Few Upstate votes cast in SC Primary - FOX Carolina 21

Few Upstate votes cast in SC Primary

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Voter turnout for Tuesday's South Carolina Primary was extremely low in many Upstate counties, forcing runoff elections and leaving many wondering who will be on the ballot come November.

One reason for the low voter turnout might have been a lack of races along party lines, with many Republican and Democratic candidates running unopposed, either due to no opposition or the state Supreme Court's ruling that knocked many contenders off the primary ballots.

Three Upstate counties had some of the lowest voter turnouts in the state. Oconee County had only 1.59 percent of registered voters casting ballots Tuesday.

Union and Cherokee counties also saw a lack of traffic at their precincts. Union County had only 398 votes cast - 2.3 percent of registered voters in the county. In Cherokee County, 3.82 percent of voters showed up to cast 1,193 votes Tuesday.

While their numbers were higher, Greenville and Spartanburg counties also saw low turnout. Greenville County Elections' Conway Belangia said they hoped for 15 to 20 percent of voters to show up Tuesday, which is average for Democratic and Republican primaries, but instead the county saw 9.39 percent turnout.

Spartanburg County had 5.82 percent voter turnout.

Some Upstate races require run-offs

While the numbers were not extremely low in counties like Abbeville, Greenwood, Laurens and Pickens, some of the highly contested races have yet to be decided and will face runoff elections June 26.

The Pickens County Sheriff race was too close to call with current Sheriff David Stone receiving 40.1 percent of the vote and Rick Clark receiving 42.8 percent.

The Greenwood County Clerk of Court race will also require a runoff. Chastity Sheek and Angie Woodhurst were neck-and-neck with 41.3 percent and 40.5 percent, respectively.

The GOP race for state Senate District 8 will require a runoff between Joe Swann, who won 27.4 percent of the vote, and Ross Turner, who won 26.5 percent.

Incumbents, new contenders win Upstate nominations

There were several major races that had clear winners. The Democratic nomination for Abbeville County Sheriff was won by Charles Goodwin with 57.5 percent. Sonny Cox won the GOP primary for Greenwood County Coroner with 61 percent of the vote.

Though other primary races in South Carolina will have runoffs, all of the Upstate GOP state House races had winners Tuesday. Joshua Putnam won District 10, Robert Shannon Riley won District 13, Bill Chumley won District 35, Donna Wood won District 37, David Hiott won District 4, and Ed Harris won District 3.

Both of the Upstate races for U.S. House districts had clear winners as well. Brian Doyle won the Democratic nomination for District 3 and Deb Morrow won the Democratic nomination for District 4.

While David Stumbo beat current Solicitor Jerry Peace in the Republican Solicitor Circuit 8 race, most incumbents held strong in Upstate races including several GOP state Senate nominations.

Current District 12 Sen. Lee Bright beat out John Hawkins for the GOP nomination, Ronnie Cromer won District 18, Kevin Bryant won District 3, Billy O'Dell won District 4, and Mike Fair held onto District 6.

All of Tuesday's winners will be tested again in November for the general election. However, it is still too early to know which candidates will collect enough signatures to get on the ballots by way of petition.

Click here for a complete list of Upstate election results.

Copyright 2012 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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SIDEBAR: SC Primary voter turnout


Take a closer look at voter turnout in the Upstate for the June 12, 2012 Republican and Democratic primaries.Abbeville County: 3,897 ballots cast, 26.65 percent voter turnoutAnderson County: 10,222 ballots More>>

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