Election turnout in South Carolina and in the Nation historically is higher in presidential years. In 2014, 43% of South Carolina's registered voters participated in the November election versus 68% in 2016. Since South Carolina voters do not register by party and are free to choose in which primary they participate, you would think that voters would flock to the polls in June.
You would be wrong. In the last two cycles, more than 700,000 voters skipped voting in the primaries. In 2014, only 16% of registered voters showed up (just over 450,000) and in 2016, under 14% ( just under 420,000) voted.
In South Carolina, almost every state or local district is drawn to favor either the Republican or Democratic candidate ultimately winning the seat. Failing to vote in the primary of your choice is failing to make a difference in choosing who will represent you. And in many cases, there will be no choice offered in November.
This year, in addition to local races, there are competitive gubernatorial contests in both primaries that will impact many issues of interest to our nonprofit missions. If there are runoff elections, you must stay in the same primary in which you voted on June 12th - but also note that voting on June 12th is not a prerequisite for voting in the runoffs on June 26th.
Please take time this year to exercise your right to vote tomorrow, Tuesday, June 12, 2018. Our friends at the League of Women Voters of SC have additional information which can be accessed here and the SC Election Commission will give you your sample ballot. You can retrieve your sample ballot by following this link.
About Ann Timberlake
Ann honed her advocacy skills in her early years volunteering in conservation campaigns to protect iconic places in South Carolina like the Congaree Swamp and the Chattooga River. She gained her first political experience in 1978 as a county coordinator for Dick Riley’s gubernatorial campaign.
After working as a sales representative for the Pillsbury Company, Ann opened a full service, neighborhood grocery, The Purple Cow, in downtown Columbia. In 2003, she returned to conservation and political work as the founding executive director of the new Conservation Voters of South Carolina.
Over thirteen years, Ann worked with Board members and donors to grow CVSC from an initial budget of $60,000 to a fully staffed, thriving organization with a budget over $600,000. She made bi-partisanship a trademark for conservation in South Carolina, elevated CVSC as a force in state electoral politics and helped the conservation community unite in support of “common agenda” priorities at the State House.
Ann has served on numerous community boards, including a recent term with the South Carolina Association of Non-profit Organizations. She is a lifelong resident of South Carolina and a graduate of Newcomb College of Tulane University. She and her husband, Ben Gregg, have two adult children. Read more about what Ann's doing by visiting her website here.
Need more information on South Carolina Elections? Email Ann here.