Have you voted yet? How did it go?

quail hollow

As you know, there are two candidates I particularly want to see elected this year — James Smith and Micah Caskey. And as you may have noticed, in recent days I’ve been more anxious about James than about Micah — after all, Micah received 97.6 percent support at a recent county GOP meeting.

So I chose a Democratic ballot at Quail Hollow precinct this morning. I felt a bit weird doing so, since not a single Democratic candidate had posted any signs in front of the polling place, as you can see above. In fact, it occurs to me that the closest sign for a Democrat to this location might be the one for James in my yard, 1.6 miles away.

But I wasn’t quite alone — I was the 15th to choose a “DEMOCRATE” ballot, as it was hand-lettered in red magic marker at the sign-in table. (You can’t expect folks in Lexington County to know how to spell every weird, exotic word in the dictionary, can you?) And as it happened, only 44 had chosen a Republican ballot. Which was weird — my precinct going only three-fourths Republican. One of the poll workers told me it seemed a lot of my neighbors had voted absentee.

This, of course, raises the stakes on who those few voters were. Was it only the extreme partisans who would go for a Phil Noble because James is too sensibly centrist, or support a woman who is proud of being a purely destructive force (which is what is meant by “buzzsaw”)?

On my way in, there were two people standing in front of the entrance where candidates or surrogates are allowed to campaign. The young woman smiled at me, but didn’t say anything (was I glowering at her or something?). The young man said, “Mr. Micah Caskey thanks you for voting today!” I said, “Well, I like Micah very much,” which seemed to please him although he probably noticed how noncommittal it was.

(Man, I hope Micah wins big. If he even comes close to losing, I’m going to feel really bad.)

As a result of not having to vote on them, and no longer having to make an endorsement decision, I never made up my mind on a couple of hot races (or at least, they should have been hot) in the Republican primary. Since I didn’t have to, I just didn’t do the legwork:

Attorney General — I like both Alan Wilson and Todd Atwater. I don’t damn Alan for his Quinn association (I don’t do simplistic, or at least not usually), and I think he’s been a pretty decent AG. And I like Todd as well. I just didn’t focus enough to force myself choose between them.

Lexington County Council District 8 — Incumbent Ned Tolar has two or three opponents. I’ve seen a lot of signs for him, and for opponent Glen Conwell (the guy who got all that money from Lou Kennedy of Nephron). I tried doing a little web research on the candidates, and found virtually nothing. I’d have tried harder if I’d been voting in that one.

Anyway, have you voted, and if so, how did it go? I see that there were lines in some locations, even though there were not at mine…

I voted

24 thoughts on “Have you voted yet? How did it go?

  1. Karen Pearson

    I have voted also. Things are very quiet in the Olympia area. The worst problem was finding a place to park since something else was going on at Olympia school.

  2. Brad Warthen Post author

    This is interesting, from the S.C. Democratic Party:

    As voting gets underway across the state this morning, early vote numbers from the South Carolina Election Commission show a dramatic increase in the number of early votes cast in the Democratic primary. With an increase of 81.9% over 2014 totals, Democrats have already cast 28,416 ballots in the Democratic primary, outperforming the Republicans’ 26,599. Republicans have seen a modest gain of 12.7% over 2014 in the early balloting for their primary. In many counties, the increase in Democratic early votes was astronomical. Colleton County, for example, saw an increase of 497.8%, while Greenville County topped the state with an increase of 570.0% over 2014 levels. …

    I’m assuming that, while this came out just before 9 a.m., “early voting” means voting before today, rather than early this morning. (The wording of the release, the statement following “As voting gets underway across the state this morning…,” made the meaning a tad unclear.)

    In which case, I don’t know if the numbers mean anything — Democrats really push that sense of “early voting.” As y’all know, I don’t hold with it myself…

  3. Scout

    I voted – Saluda River Precinct – which votes at a Lutheran Church on 378. I voted in the democratic primary. I was number 54 and the Republican sign in sheet was up to 114. I’m pretty sure that in past primaries it’s been about 4:1 Republican/Democrat at this precinct and today so far it appears to be 2:1.

    There were no Smith signs (or any other democrat for that matter) here either. I drove over to Smith headquarters on Taylor street and got some and put them up. So now there are some.

    I should have got some for yours too. I think it’s only just right up the street.

  4. Scout

    My Mom who votes in Richland County near the VA hospital reports that she was #64 on the Democratic list and the Republican list was up to 51. I don’t know how her precinct usually goes, but that seems like a lot of Democrats. I’m pretty sure that I looked it up at the time and I think her precinct went for Trump. So this seems significant to me.

    I’m terribly curious what or who is causing a higher turnout for Democrats.

  5. bud

    There is early voting and same day voting. Seems clear to me.

    Voted in Lexington about 11:30. My wife and I were 24 and 25 in the Dem primary. The GOP was up to 70. It’s a heavily Republican precinct so that is not surprising. Still, as a Democrat I’m not overly optimistic based on these numbers.

  6. Barry

    I voted in Kershaw County around 1:45pm. A quick glance showed about 175 signatures on the Republican sheet and 58 on the Democratic sheet. From memory’, that is slightly heavier Dem support in my precinct than I recall in the past.

    There was a group outside the precinct asking for sig attires on a petition for John Meadors to join the race for 5th district Solicitor against the winner between Johnson and Gipson. I chose to sign the petition.

    I voted in the DEmocratic primary for the first time in my life because I really can’t stomach any of the Republican candidates except for maybe Warren.

    I voted for Smith. I also voted for Gipson. We also had a nonpartisan school board race and I voted for the incumbent because I know his strong views in support of public education and feel the schoolboard is doing a great job.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Yay, Barry! I usually take a Republican ballot, too, because otherwise I don’t get a say in who represents me.

      Glad to hear you voted for James. I’d vote for Gipson, too, if I could…

  7. Doug Ross

    How about voting against Alan Wilson for how he bungled Pascoe’s investigation? His on the job performance had been pretty bad.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      I’ve suspected from the start that Alan’s greatest mistake on that was appointing Pascoe to start with — but people close to it have said he really didn’t have much choice. Other prosecutors didn’t want it.

      I continue to see Pascoe himself as the bungler. He told everybody Rick Quinn was “the worst of the worst,” then let him plead to a misdemeanor. Then yelled at the judge for not sending him to prison… for a misdemeanor.

      Either he screwed up big-time by charging Quinn, or he screwed up even worse in letting him plead to a nothing charge. Either way, it’s pretty messed up, and blaming it on the judge sounds pretty lame…

  8. Doug Ross

    So after selecting Pascoe, you think Wilson handled it well? How about his email to Quinn asking for input on messaging?

    What are Wilson’s accomplishments that justify keeping his job?

  9. bud

    I was pretty lukewarm about governor and house races. Virtually zero chance for the Democrats in November. If only Smith had a modicum of charisma. But I was excited about the faux ballot resolutions. It gave me a great deal of pleasure to vote for the medical marijuana and Medicaid money.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      And here I was feeling guilty for having, in a frivolous moment, actually voting on those. Cindi took those of us who do that to task today, and rightly so.

      As y’all know, I hold a dim view of real referenda. I believe in representative democracy, not government by plebiscite.

      And I like FAKE referenda, such as this, even less. There’s always the danger that SOME people will think it meant something, and then become even more disillusioned with government because what they said they wanted didn’t come to pass…

          1. Brad Warthen Post author

            I voted yes on both. Of course I favor the Medicaid expansion, and the other is one I don’t particularly care about one way or the other.

            I’ve always sorta kinda suspected the magical medical properties of cannabis were overblown, and doubted there were no other substances that could relieve some patients’ pain, but I’ve never cared enough about the issue either way to study it carefully, so I’m giving the advocates the benefit of the doubt. After all, if nothing else will dull a desperately ill patients’ pain, for instance, I wouldn’t want to withhold morphine. Special circumstances.

            I say that knowing that many, many advocates of “medical marijuana” simply view it as a thin-end-of-the-wedge to move us toward total legalization. But y’all know I don’t believe in “slippery slope” arguments. When people say, “where will it stop?” I say, “Wherever we want it to.”

            And I have zero problem saying “stop” well before we get to recreational…

            And bottom line, IT DIDN’T MATTER. I was just passing the time.

            But Cindi’s right — we should probably say no to all such bogus “referendum” questions, to discourage the parties from playing mind tricks with the public on our dime…

      1. Doug Ross

        We know how Smith feels about Medicaid. How about he goes on the record on medical marijuana? I’ll wait…

        1. bud

          He did support a bill legalizing a certain type of marijuana extract for seizures. I would like to see more emphasis on this from Smith. The man just can’t be any more boring. Someone should copyright Smith interviews as a sleeping aid.

          1. bud

            At the end of the day I ended up voting for Smith. Phil Noble just came across as too angry. Plus, he has even less chance than Smith.

      2. bud

        All of Cindi’s concerns would be addressed by simply requiring the parties to run their own primaries. Besides, even if the state continues to fund the primaries her objections to the “referendum” questions are not very persuasive. Shouldn’t the voters have the opportunity to inform their elected officials about important issues? I say let’s have MORE of these questions.

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          Yeah, that’s what Doug thinks.

          But I believe the opposite: We, the people (not parties), need MORE control over how people get onto the November ballot, not less…

  10. Harry Harris

    Looks like Smith wins handily, McMaster leads but faces runoff. Parnell wins Democratic Congressional Dist 5 primary.


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