Turnout low to moderate in SC primaries as results trickle in

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Officials say voter turnout in South Carolina's primary elections was low to moderate.

But the State Election Commission says that voting Tuesday has been heavier in some counties.

Polls opened at 7 a.m. Tuesday and closed at 7 p.m. If absentee voting is any indication, officials say turnout should run ahead of 2006 levels.

Early numbers show state Rep. Nikki Haley leading Congressman Gresham Barrett in the GOP governor's race. Democrat Vincent Sheheen holds a large lead over his opponents.

The Associated Press has declared Jim DeMint the republican primary winner in the U.S. Senate race. DeMint has 83% of the vote compared to just 17% for his opponent, Susan Gaddy.

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Voters went to the polls to whittle down a field of 7 candidates for governor and set up the November race for a U.S. Senate seat.

The primary also will be pivotal for three congressional elections. And four other statewide offices - state schools chief, state attorney general, treasurer and comptroller general - are also on ballots.

Any runoff elections will be held June 22.

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