November 6th is Election Day
Written by Jerry E. Halmon   

Super Storm Sandy withstanding, November 6, 2012 is Election Day in America. Voters in Bamberg County, the state of South Carolina and across the country will go to the polls and elect a President and Vice President of the United States, a slew of U.S. House and Senate Representatives, S.C. House of Representatives candidates and a host of County level officers.

A common saying in the political world is, “all politics are local,” and local voters will have to choose from among several candidates and whether or not to approve a One Cent Capital Sales Tax Initiative that would purportedly fund a number of improvement projects around the county, including significant renovations to the Bamberg County Courthouse adding up to $3,541,423. Other projects include in order of how they are listed are: Regional Water System for Olar/Govan - $14,604; Olar Park Shed - $6,200; Olar Community Building Renovations - $37,000; Bamberg City Civic Center Renovations - $589,000; Denmark Dane Theatre Renovations - $60,000; Ehrhardt downtown beautification and former town hall restoration - $60,000; Govan park shed and park improvements - $15,000; and a Veteran's Memorial Construction - $82,500.

A number of political races are on tap for Tuesday’s election starting with the U.S. House of Representatives District 6 race, where incumbent Democrat James E. “Jim” Clyburn will face Green Party candidate Nammu Y. Muhammad. State Senate District 39 Democrat Incumbent and District 40 incumbent Democrat Brad Hutto are on the ballot and face on opposition. State House Rep. District 90 incumbent Democrat Bakari Sellers will face opposition for the first time in Republican challenger Dan Lawrence.

In a hotly contested local race for Probate Judge, Democrat Sarah Guess Noel will face Petition candidate Donna Blume Brown. Other local candidates on the November 6, ballot and not facing any opposition include the following candidates: Sheriff Ed Darnell, Clerk of Court James “Pedie” Hiers and Coroner Willard “Billy” Duncan. Bamberg County Council seats (all Democrats) on the ballot are: District 1 Trent Kinard, District 4 Joe Guess Jr., District 5 Isaiah Odom and District 7 Clint Carter. Non-Partisan candidates on the ballot include: Johney L. Haralson, Soil and Water District Commissioner and Bryan Crosby, Willow Swamp Watershed Conservation District.

State-wide voters will decide on Amendment 1 in which a ‘yes’ vote will require from 2018 onward the Governor and Lt. Governor to run on the same ticket and be elected to office jointly. A ‘no’ vote maintains the current method of electing the Governor and Lt. Governor separately.

There are a number of myths circulating around this years’ election. One myth involves the new Voter ID Law. The new photo ID law will not be in effect on November 6th. To vote on November 6th, a citizen must have a SC Drivers License, a SC DMV ID card or a voter registration card. The new photo ID rules will not take effect until January 1, 2013. South Carolina also has “Absentee Voting,” where a citizen must meet one of 15 reasons for voting absentee. Voters with disabilities and voters who are unable to read or write may vote and may request assistance in the voting booth.

Voters may cast their ballots in the following precincts and polling places on November 6th, beginning at 7:00 am until 7:00 pm: Colston, Colston Fire Department; Edisto, Edisto Fire Station; Ehrhardt, Ehrhardt Town Hall; East Denmark, Brooker Center; Govan, Govan Fire Department; Hightower's Mill, Old Train Depot; Hunters Chapel, Hunters Chapel Fire Department; Kearse, Brant’s Office; Little Swamp, Little Swamp Community Center; Olar, Olar Town Hall; South Bamberg, Kearse Agriculture Bldg; North Bamberg, Bamberg City Civic Center and West Denmark, Old Train Depot.

Remember, “every vote matters and every vote counts.”