It may seem there is nothing else happening in the world other than the coronavirus, but filing remains open for upcoming local and statewide elections.
Filing opened on March 16 for 19 political offices that affect Sumter County and additional …
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Filing opened on March 16 for 19 political offices that affect Sumter County and additional countywide seats in Clarendon and Lee counties. As of Friday afternoon, 25 people had filed as candidates for seats ranging from Sumter County Council to the state and U.S. Senate, including 15 incumbents. About 700 candidates have filed statewide.
According to Chris Whitmire, director of public information at the state election commission, 1,019 candidates had statewide in March 2016.
Candidates can file through noon on March 30, and the S.C. Election Commission is asking candidates to make an appointment before filing to help avoid crowding in the final days of the period. All partisan candidates seeking office in the Nov. 3 general election must file during this period.
"While the day-to-day impact of the response to the coronavirus pandemic is uncertain, the SEC continues working with county boards to help ensure the process continues without interruption" as directed by an executive order from Gov. Henry McMaster on March 15.
In that order, McMaster postponed any elections scheduled before May 1. Statewide primaries are scheduled for June 9.
Candidates are being urged to:
- File as early as possible during the filing period due to the developing nature of the coronavirus threat and to avoid crowding in the closing days of the period;
- Make an appointment to file. Appointments will be spaced 15 minutes apart to reduce the number of people in the office at the same time. Appointments are optional;
- Refrain from bringing unnecessary guests with them to file;
- Be aware of the option to file by agent. This option may be particularly helpful to candidates who have underlying health conditions, are self-isolating or are quarantined. Candidates may have another person deliver a notarized Statement of Intention of Candidacy and Party Pledge form and any necessary filing fee check to the appropriate filing office;
- Bring their own pens. Voter registration offices will have hand sanitizer stations, are cleaning common surfaces and are providing one-time-use pens; and
- Refrain from shaking hands.
Filing for school board seats as well as city seats - city council and mayor - will be from July 15 through Aug. 17 through the city clerk's office.
When you register to vote in South Carolina, you do not have to specify a party, but each person can only vote in one party's primary.
The Sumter County Voter Registration and Election Office will be open for candidate filing Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. For more information, call (803) 436-2310, 436-2312 or 436-2313.
For details on candidate filing, visit https://www.scvotes.org/candidate-information.
The following seats are up for election this year, listed with the official currently holding that office and that person's political affiliation:
- U.S. Senate: Lindsey Graham (R)
- U.S. House, District 5: Ralph Norman (R)
- U.S. House, District 6: Jim Clyburn (D)
- State Senate, District 35: Thomas McElveen (D)
- State Senate, District 36: Kevin Johnson (D)
- State House, District 50: Will Wheeler (D)
- Statehouse, District 51: David Weeks (D)
- Statehouse, District 64: Robert Ridgeway (D)
- Statehouse, District 67: Murrell Smith (R)
- Statehouse, District 70: Wendy Brawley (D)
- County Council 1: Chris Sumpter (D)
- County Council 3: Jimmy Byrd (R)
- County Council 5: Vivian Fleming-McGhaney (D)
- County Council 7: Eugene Baten (D)
- Auditor: Lauretha McCants (D)
- Clerk of Court: Jamie Campbell (D)
- Coroner: Robbie Baker (D)
- Sheriff: Anthony Dennis (D)
- Treasurer: Carolina Richardson (D)
- Soil and Water (2 seats): J.T. Rivers / Tommy Laney*
- Sumter School District, Seat 5: Daryl McGhaney*
- Sumter School District, Seat 6: Ralph Canty*
- Sumter School District, Seat 7: Barbara Jackson*
- Sumter City Council, Ward 2: Ione Dwyer*
- Sumter City Council, Ward 4: Steve Corley*
- Sumter City Council, Ward 6: David Merchant*
- Mayor: Joe McElveen*
- Pinewood Town Council (2 seats): Betty Jones / Gary Nesbitt*
* Filing will be at a later date, and seats are nonpartisan.
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