Today is officially Election Day for the 2018 Midterm Elections.
In Richland County, the polls open at 7 a.m. + close at 7 p.m. and include 150 voting precincts. Click here to look up your polling place and check out your sample ballot.
Here’s what’s at stake: races for several key positions in the state + national legislature, including the Governor, seats in the S.C. House and the U.S. House of Representatives.
Other positions open include the S.C. Secretary of State, S.C. Treasurer, S.C. Attorney General, S.C. Comptroller General, S.C. Agriculture Commissioner and the S.C. Superintendent of Education.
You’ll also see a constitutional amendment on your ballot concerning whether the Superintendent of Education should be appointed by the Governor with the consent of the Senate, or if we should continue with the current process of election.
So, what all is on the ballot?
Voting dates + details
Oct. 17: Registration deadline for the November election (5 p.m.)
Nov. 5: Deadline for “in-person absentee” voting (a.k.a. early voting) for the November election
Nov. 6: Election Day
All ballots will include one S.C. constitutional amendment. Each will be voted “For” or “Against.”
Must Section 7, Article VI of the Constitution of this State, relating to state constitutional officers, be amended so as to provide that beginning in January 2023, or upon a vacancy in the office of Superintendent of Education after the date of the ratification of the provisions of this paragraph, whichever occurs first, the Superintendent of Education must be appointed by the Governor, with the advice and consent of the Senate; to provide that the appointed Superintendent of Education shall serve at the pleasure of the Governor; and to require the General Assembly to provide by law for the duties, compensation, and qualifications for the office?
A ‘Yes’ vote will require the Superintendent of Education be appointed by the Governor with the consent of the Senate.
A ‘No’ vote maintains the current method of electing a Superintendent of Education.
National + State General Assembly Seats
Every seat in the House of Representatives (124 total) will be up for election – with 69 running unopposed. The county-specific seats we have listed below are for Richland County.
Richland County is split into different districts based on census data for national, state, and local offices. Depending on what part of the county you live in, certain seats + positions will be listed on your ballot.
See your individual ballot here (and check out the district maps here), then read on to see who you’ll be voting for. Note: You will only see your own district’s candidates on your ballot when voting.
U.S. House of Representatives
The lower chamber of the U.S. Congress. Representatives serve specific congressional districts and are elected for two-year terms.
- District 2
- District 6
Click here to see the candidates from every district.
S.C. State Senate
Upper house of the South Carolina General Assembly. 46 senators elected from specific districts for four-year terms. Meets in the S.C. State House in downtown Columbia.
There is one special election this year for S.C. Senate District 20, located in parts of Richland + Lexington counties.
- District 20
S.C. House of Representatives
Lower house of the South Carolina General Assembly. 124 members who serve two-year terms. Meets in the S.C. State House in downtown Columbia.
- District 41
- District 70
- District 71
- District 72
- District 73
- District 74
- District 75
- District 76
- District 77
- District 78
- District 79
- District 80
Click here to see the candidates from every district.
S.C. Governor Candidates
Chief executive of the state. (Ballotpedia) Lt. Governor is the second-highest office.
- Henry McMaster (R - Incumbent) – Currently serving as the 117th Governor of South Carolina, McMaster is for tax relief, investing in infrastructure, cutting regulations and red tape, providing access to affordable health care. More here.
- Pamela Evette, running mate for lieutenant governor
- James Smith Jr. (D) – Currently a member of the S.C. House of Representatives, Smith is in favor of access to affordable health care, protecting our environment, and “moving beyond a minimally adequate education”. More here.
- Mandy Powers Norrell, running mate for lieutenant governor
More on the governor’s race here.
S.C. Secretary of State Candidates
Handles the administrative efforts for the state, including keeping state records, recording official acts of the governor, administers state elections + maintains election results. (Ballotpedia)
- Mark Hammond (R - Incumbent) – Has been serving as Secretary of State since 2002. Has worked with the S.C. Business One Stop to place 44 business forms online and refused to raise business filing fees (making South Carolina’s the lowest in the Southeast). More here.
- Melvin T. Whittenburg (D) – Major Whittenburg is retired from the U.S. army where he served during Hurricane Hugo, Desert Shield/Desert Storm, and the Global War on Terror. Whittenburg believes in implementing a “Boots to Business” initiative, waiving application fees for vets. Wants to provide opportunities to train unlicensed vendors on the requirements and benefits of owning a business license. More here.
S.C. Treasurer Candidates
Acts as the state’s chief banker, charged with overseeing revenue + finances. (Ballotpedia)
- Rosalyn L Glenn (D) – Glenn serves as the President and CEO of Glenn Destiny Consulting, LLC. She has a Series 6, 63, + 65 licenses, and her Financial Services Certified Professional (FSCP) Designation.
- Curtis Loftis (R - Incumbent) – Elected State Treasurer of South Carolina on November 2, 2010. A few of his accomplishments while in office include: saving $391 million refinancing debt; saving $1.3 million annually by restructuring fees; reworking the Future Scholar 529 College Savings Direct Plan; and conducting the first GAAP audit of the State Treasurer’s Office since 1988.
- Sarah Work (American) – Spent the past 14 years working as a CPA. Ran in 2016 for the SC General Assembly.
S.C. Attorney General Candidates
S.C.’s chief criminal prosecutor, legal officer and securities commissioner. Represents and advises the state in legal matters, oversees the state grand jury + the sale of securities in S.C. (Ballotpedia)
- Alan Wilson (R - Incumbent) – Seeking his third term. Prior to his election, worked as an attorney at Willoughby & Hoefer, P.A. law firm in Columbia. Former platoon leader in the South Carolina Army National Guard. More here.
- Constance Anastopoulo (D) – Professor at Charleston School of Law. Formerly senior litigator at Anastopoulo Law Firm, LLC, based in N. Charleston. Active in community service. More here.
S.C. Comptroller General Candidate
S.C.'s top accountant and fiscal watchdog. Oversees state spending, bookkeeping + accounting over state agencies. (Ballotpedia)
- Richard Eckstrom (R - Incumbent - Unopposed) – Running unopposed for his fifth term, serving since 2003. Prior to his current role, he served as State Treasurer, and before that, practiced as a CPA with an international firm.
S.C. Agriculture Commissioner Candidates
Works to promote agriculture and cattle raising. Keeps updated information on landowners + farmers of the State and land registry. (Ballotpedia)
- Hugh Weathers (R - Incumbent) – Co-owner of a dairy farm, has served on many dairy association boards and agricultural committees. See the full list here.
- David Edmond (Green) – Worked as a veterinary food inspector in the U.S. Army and was later ordained as a Methodist minister. If elected, he wants to encourage more Farmer’s Markets as well as wineries + food canneries to do business in our state.
- Chris Nelums (United Citizens) – Current Pastor of Bethany A. M. E. and volunteers with community relief organizations.
S.C. Superintendent of Education Candidates
Serves as the secretary and administrator of all policies + procedures adopted by the State Board of Education. (Ballotpedia)
- Molly Mitchell Spearman (R - Incumbent) – Served four terms in the S.C. House having been elected in 1993 and regarded as a champion for children’s issues. In 1998, she was appointed Deputy Superintendent of Education for Governmental Relations at the South Carolina Department of Education and went on to lead the South Carolina Association of School Administrators– a professional organization of over 3,600 principals, superintendents, and school leaders in the state. Spearman was elected as the 18th South Carolina State Superintendent of Education in 2014.
Several local leadership opportunities including county council seats, school board positions, treasurer + more will be voted upon during the midterm election.
- Richland County: Here’s a full list of who’s running for what. Find which district of Richland County you’re in (and learn more about this summer’s primaries) here.
- Lexington County: Find your election guide here.
Need to register?
Here’s what you should know.
In order to vote you must:
- Be a U.S. citizen
- Be at least 18 years old by the time of the General Election
- Be a resident of South Carolina, this county and precinct
- Not be under a court order declaring you mentally incompetent
- Not be confined in any public prison resulting from a conviction of a crime
- Have never been convicted of a felony or offense against the election laws, or, if previously convicted, have served the entire sentence– including probation or parole, or have received a pardon for the conviction.
There is no length of residency requirement in South Carolina in order to register to vote. You can register at any time.
You must be registered at least 30 days prior to any election in order to vote in that election. Registration by mail applications must be postmarked at least 30 days prior to that particular election to be eligible.
Can’t make it to the polls? Find out the qualifications + request an absentee form here.
Election information can feel overwhelming when you look at your ballot, so hopefully, this guide that will make the process easier for anyone voting in the November election.
Making our voices + opinions heard is one of the greatest things about our democracy – and we want to hear yours.
Share your “I voted” sticker pics, your reasons for voting, and all other things related to the election using the hashtag #COLAvotes on social media or by sending us an email. We will select four lucky voters to each receive a $25 gift card for exercising their civic duty.
Again – here’s that link to your sample ballot + here is where you can find a list of polling places by precinct.
See ya at the polls, Columbia.
– the COLAtoday team