Let your voices be heard! Election Day is Nov. 6
You’ve heard it all before – get out and vote, it can truly make a difference. But time and time again, election voter turnout is dismal at best. A 40 to 60 percent turnout is typically considered good – but that still means that thousands didn’t make the effort to exercise a basic democratic right that is denied to many in other parts of the world.
Our upcoming mid-term election on November 6 is shaping up to be another important contest, with far-reaching implications. Here in Berkeley County, we will be casting ballots for a number of statewide offices, including Governor, Lt. Governor, Secretary of State, State Treasurer, Attorney General, Comptroller General, State Superintendent of Education, and Commissioner of Agriculture.
You will also help determine the next U.S. House Representative for South Carolina’s First Congressional District (Katie Arrington or Joe Cunningham), and your State Representative for House District 99 (Incumbent Nancy Mace or Jen Gibson). Both districts include Daniel Island. Berkeley County Sheriff Duane Lewis is running unopposed, as are Probate Judge Keith Kornahrens, Clerk of Court Leah Guerry Dupree, Coroner George M. Oliver, County Supervisor Johnny Cribb, Register of Deeds Cindy Forte, and Berkeley County School Board District 2 Representative Mac McQuillin. Diane Edwins and Keith Gourdin are vying for an open seat on the Berkeley County Soil and Water District Commission.
Your ballot on November 6 will also ask you to weigh in on a proposed amendment regarding the State Superintendent of Education position, the most effective form of government for Berkeley County (Council-administrator or Council-supervisor), and whether or not a ninth council seat will be needed on county council if citizens elect to make a change to the supervisor position. All candidate contests and questions will benefit from your valuable input. Read more about the people and issues that will appear on your ballot (page 20), as well as your candidates’ platforms (pages 24-26, 28-29), in this issue of The Daniel Island News.
In the last mid-term election, in 2014, voter turnout on Daniel Island was about 45 percent between the island’s two precincts at the time (Daniel Island 1 and Daniel Island 2). In Berkeley County as a whole, it was only 41.9 percent. That means that out of the 104,441 registered voters in the county – only 43,817 felt compelled to head to the polls to cast ballots. What about the other 60,624 voters? The results of an election are not necessarily reflective of a community when the majority of voters choose to stay home.
According to Adam Hammons, director of Berkeley County Elections and Voter Registration, there are currently 124,095 active registered voters in the county. As of last week, a total of 2,632 absentee ballots had already been cast. On election day, all 55 regular polling places will be open and ready, including those at Daniel Island School (Daniel Island 3 and 4), the Daniel Island Club (Daniel Island 1 and 2), Philip Simmons Elementary (Yellow House and The Village) and Cainhoy Elementary (Cainhoy).
So get out and exercise your freedom to choose the people who will make decisions on behalf of your state and your county – ultimately impacting your quality of life. Democracy works best when we all participate. As the League of Women Voters commented when reflecting on the 16 percent voter turnout in the 2014 statewide primaries, anything less is “Democrazy.”