Election Commission officials say South Carolinians can expect accurate, efficient election results in primary race

Updated: Feb. 28, 2020 at 7:08 AM EST
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Over the last week, the Palmetto State has been flooded with several Democratic presidential candidates hoping to gain as much support as possible ahead of the South Carolina primary, Saturday, Feb. 29. Polls are open from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. as South Carolinians make their choice for the Democratic presidential nominee.

Registered voters will only need a form of identification in order to vote at their assigned polling place, which you’ll want to double check before Saturday as some locations have been consolidated for the SC primary.

RELATED STORY: What you need to know before heading to the polls on Primary Day

You also still have time to vote absentee. If you’ve already applied for an absentee ballot by mail, but did not return it by mail in time, you can still submit those in person at your county registration office until 7 p.m. Saturday. You can even still apply for and submit an absentee ballot, in person, at your county registration office up until 5:00, Friday night.

South Carolina’s primary comes after primary races in Nevada, New Hampshire and Iowa. The Iowa Caucuses were the first in the nation, but faced some challenges this year after the Iowa Democratic Party reported a problem with a new smartphone app being used. This caused delays in the release of election results, and several candidates called into question the accuracy of the results.

South Carolina Election Commission officials say voters here should not be concerned.

“It is a caucus, which is not an election. People are meeting in a space. There’s a lot of verbal discussion going on about which candidate they’re going to go for and then there’s some sort of reporting process. We expect to have a good day on Saturday. We get a paper record of every voter’s voted ballot. We have a sure fire record of the results of the election,” Chris Whitmire, spokesperson for the South Carolina Election Commission said.

The state did just implement new voting machines last year, but already those machines have been a part of some 220 elections in the Palmetto State. This is considered to be a proven system being used all over the country.

Whitmire says using the machines has been, “sort of the best of both worlds. We get the electronic results by scanning all of those ballots, which helps us get results out quickly. The scanner also takes an image of ballots, which also provides some protection, and then we have the old school paper that we can go back to – makes us more confident in the accuracy of elections.”

There will be a total of 12 candidates listed on the ballot, Saturday, but some of these candidates are no longer in the race. It’s just that they had not withdrawn from the South Carolina primary before ballots were finalized.

  • Michael Bennet - Withdrew, name will appear on ballot
  • Joseph R. Biden
  • Cory Booker - Withdrew, name will appear on ballot
  • Pete Buttigieg
  • John K. Delaney - Withdrew, name will appear on ballot
  • Tulsi Gabbard
  • Amy Klobuchar
  • Deval Patrick - Withdrew, name will appear on ballot
  • Bernie Sanders
  • Tom Steyer
  • Elizabeth Warren
  • Andrew Yang - Withdrew, name will appear on ballot

In fact, five of the candidates listed have since ended their campaigns and are no longer contenders in the 2020 race.

On the other hand, some Democratic candidates who are still in the running for the White House may not appear on the ballot because they did not file for the SC primary.

Write-in candidates will not be acknowledged.

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