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Election Day: Voters head to polls today in Aiken County

November 9, 2018

Aiken County voters head to the polls today, Nov. 6. Polls will open at 7.a.m. and close at 7 p.m.

Highlighting the 2018 Midterm Elections is the race for governor in South Carolina, with Republican incumbent S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster facing off with Democratic candidate Rep. James Smith.

Aiken County residents also will decide the fate of the Capital Projects Sales Tax IV continuation, which will be a Local Question toward the end of the ballot.

The CPST is colloquially known as the penny tax because of its 1-cent-on-the-dollar nature.

“The Capital Projects Sales Tax was first approved by the citizens of Aiken County in 2000. Additional rounds were approved in 2004 and 2010. And since then, the CPST has been a critical leg in the County’s financial structure,” said Aiken County Council Chairman Gary Bunker in a recent column in the Aiken Standard. “This year’s ballot contains $163 million in proposed projects over the next seven years. These include $75 million for Aiken County, $51 million for the City of Aiken, $31 million for the City of North Augusta, and $6 million for the eight smaller municipalities.”

Sample ballots, photo ID

Sample ballots are available to view in advance at www.scvotes.org. Click on “Get your Sample Ballot” and follow instructions for the sample ballot to be generated.

A full list of polling precincts in Aiken County also is available at www.scvotes.com.

To vote on Election Day, residents will be asked to show one of the following Photo IDs at your polling place:

• S.C. driver’s license

• ID card issued by S.C. Department of Motor Vehicles

• S.C. voter registration card with photo

• Federal military ID

• U.S. passport

For more information on voting, call the Aiken County Office of Registration and Elections at 803-642-2028 or email absentee@aikencountysc.gov.

Who’s on the ballot?

Republican incumbent S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster, along with his running mate for lieutenant governor, Pamela Evette, will face off against Democratic challenger Rep. James Smith, D-Columbia, and his running mate for lieutenant governor, Mandy Powers Norrell.

Several other state-wide races will be on the ballot.

Local races of interest include the 2nd Congressional District of South Carolina seat, with Republican incumbent U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson facing Democratic candidate Sean Carrigan and American candidate Sonny Narang.

For the S.C. House District 81 seat, Republican incumbent Bart Blackwell will face Democratic challenger Elise Fox.

For the S.C. House District 83 seat, Republican incumbent William “Bill” Hixon will face Libertarian candidate David Weikle.

For the S.C. House District 84 seat, Republican incumbent Ronnie Young will face Democratic candidate Jennifer Cook Lariscey.

For the Aiken County Council District 2 seat, Republican incumbent Camille Furgiuele will face Democratic candidate Debra Larke.

For the Aiken County Council District 5 seat, Republican incumbent Sandy Haskell will face Democratic candidate Juanita Hall.

Eight candidates for School Board are seeking five seats in the general election Nov. 6. Candidates for School Board do not declare a political party.

Ballot questions

Aiken County voters will decide a Yes or No vote on a local question concerning the continuation of Capital Projects Sales Tax IV. The countywide tax affects residents, visitors and tourists – if approved by voters, collections would start May 1, 2019 and end April 20, 2026. About $163 million is expected to be collected over those seven years, according to state-level projections. The ballot question is long and voters will have to “click” many times for it to go through.

Voters will also decide Yes or No on a statewide constitutional amendment concerning either requiring the Superintendent of Education to be appointed by the Governor with the consent of the Senate or maintaining the current method of electing a Superintendent of Education.

North Augusta voters will decide YES or NO on a local question authorizing the City of North Augusta to issue and sell general obligation bonds for the costs of designing, developing and constructing a new Department of Public Safety headquarters conditioned on a favorable Capital Project Sales Tax referendum.

Voter Guide online

Read more about all of the candidates in today’s election in advance, including the full CPST IV tax description, at www.aikenstandard.com or come by our office for a printed Voters’ Guide that published in the Sunday, Oct. 28, newspaper.

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