Waccamaw Neck residents were out in force to vote on Tuesday morning at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church.
The rainy, cold weather did not keep voters away from the polls in Georgetown County on Tuesday morning as there were lines in most precincts before voting began at 7 a.m.
The skies cleared by midday and the huge numbers at the polls continued.
While the presidential race was the big draw, local races such as the new District 7 Congressional seat, S.C. House Seat 103, Auditor, Treasurer, Clerk of Court and school board also enticed people to and vote.
Another issue on voter’s minds was the one-percent capital improvement sales tax referendum.
Almost 73 percent of the county’s 42,801 registered voters cast ballots Tuesday.
In the presidential race, Georgetown County did not follow the nation which elected Barack Obama to a second term.
Locally, Republican Mitt Romney was the winner by a vote of 16,476 to 14,119.
It was not a good day for the petition candidates as none of them won their particular race.
Rice wins District 7
In the race for the new District 7 Congressional seat, the Associated Press has declared Tom Rice the winner although his opponent, Gloria Bromell Tinubu has refused to concede the race to Rice.
Tinubu was trying to become the first black woman elected to Congress from South Carolina. The former Atlanta city councilwoman also served in the Georgia Legislature before moving back to her native South Carolina last year.
With about 78 percent of precincts reporting, Rice had about 55 percent of the vote and was leading by about 18,000 votes.
In Georgetown County, Rice defeated Tinubu 16,441 to 14,022.
The district running from the shore on the Grand Strand west to Florence County, then north to the North Carolina state line trends strongly Republican.
Too close to call
No winner has been declared in the race for the Georgetown County School Board District 6 seat.
Both Richard Kerr and Peggy Wheeler-Cribb are trying to take over the seat vacated by Teresa Bennani. However, Kerr is leading that race by only 20 votes — 1722 to 1702.
Because there are challenged ballots and fail safe ballots that still need to be counted, the winner of that race will not be known until the votes are certified Friday.
Voters reject sales tax
There will not be an additional one percent added to sales taxes in Georgetown County.
Voters rejected the capital improvement tax by a vote of 15,586 to 12,831.
The following are the unofficial totals that will be certified Friday.
Lane Cribb: 18,049
Darryel Carr: 8,707
House District 103
Carl Anderson 10,242
Tom Winslow: 3,167
Clerk of Court
Alma White: 15,532
Tammie Avant: 10,927
County Council District 5
Austin Beard: 1,238
Bubba Grimes: 790
Ben Dunn: 813
Brian Shult: 11,863
Kathy Harrelson: 9,979
Rod Stalvey: 2,269
School Board District 3
Sandra Johnson: 1,525
Gene Footman: 728
School Board District 5
Elery Little: 1,570
Murray Vernon: 1,200
Kenny Johnson: 21,217
State Senate 32
Yancey McGill: 13,828
S.C. House District 108
Stephen Goldfinch: 12,356
Waldo Maring: 20,615
Loretta Washington-Cooper: 24,040
County Council District 2
Ron Charlton: 4,131
County Council District 3
Leona Tiger Miller: 3,005
County Council District 4:
Lilly Jean Johnson: 3,244
School Board District 1
Sarah Elliott: 3,221
School Board District 4
Zelma Carr: 2,196
Voters in the Black River precinct cast ballots at Prevailing Purpose Church on Wedgefield Road. The church sanctuary was packed with voters waiting for the polls to open at 7 a.m.
Jason Barrier arrived at about 6:10 a.m. and was the first to cast a ballot at that location.
He said he wanted to vote early because he has a full workload on Tuesday.
At Pawleys Island Precinct 1, St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, the line stretched from inside the building through the parking lot at times.
But not everyone waited until Tuesday to cast a ballot. By Monday’s deadline 8,572 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.
While most of the voting went off without a hitch in the county, there were some problems reported throughout the day.
At 7:55 a.m., Ryan Port said the voting machines were not working for people who live outside the Andrews town limits but vote at the National Guard Armory. The problem was later fixed.
• One of the four voting machines at Kensington Elementary was not working early but was repaired by 9:30 a.m.
• At 9 a.m., Stephanie Altman said some people in the Bethel precinct, which votes at the fire station near the 9 Mile Curve, were told their names are not on the rolls at that location.
She said the people who live on Gapway Road, who have always voted in that precinct, were told they have to go to Andrews or Potato Bed Ferry to vote.
Poll manager Billy Coleman said the names of five or six voters were not on the list in that precinct but by late morning the problem was rectified and the impacted voters were notified and told they could return and cast a ballot.
• Eileen Johnson said she was given the wrong ballot when she voted in the Pennyroyal precinct which is split between State House seats 108 and 103. She said she questioned the poll manager and the problem was corrected.
“I wonder how many might have been given the wrong ballot and because they don’t know what district they vote in, voted in the wrong race,” she said.
• Some Waccamaw High School students who filled out registration forms in late September were turned away from polling places because their names weren’t on the rolls.
By Scott Harper
WBTW TV 13 contributed to this report
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