CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Lowcountry residents are hitting the polls today to vote in a number of key local battles as the statewide Primary Election is underway.
Dozens of candidates have spent the last months campaigning in hopes of making it to the November elections. All that hard work pays off today, as polling locations opened at 7 a.m., and will remain open until 7 p.m.
Among the Lowcountry's biggest races are the elections for Berkeley County Sheriff, Berkeley County Supervisor, and Charleston County Council District 8.
For the first time ever, Berkeley County Sheriff Wayne DeWitt will have opposition on Election Day. DeWitt is being challenged in Tuesday's Republican Primary by North Charleston Police Lt. Brian Adams and Charleston Police Officer Matt Smoak.
In the Berkeley County Supervisor race, incumbent Dan Davis will be challenged by William Peagler and Jerry Beckley.
Two republican candidates are vying for a shot at the Charleston County Council District 8 seat. Thomas Legare will face off against Kenny Todd. The winner will face Anna Johnson in November.
South Carolina has an open primary, meaning anyone registered to vote can cast a ballot in either the democratic or republican primaries. A closed primary would only allow voters to vote within their registered party.
Voters will be asked their opinions on hotly debated issues, but the questions will vary depending on the party ballot chosen by the voter. The questions are used to advise political parties, and will not be used in the general election.
For democrats, some of the questions include: Do you believe each state - not congress - should decide for itself whether to allow online gaming and how to regulate it? And should the state use modernized gaming laws to repair crumbling roads and bridges, instead of tax increases?
There will also be a question on whether or not medical marijuana should be legalized for use in cases of severe, chronic illnesses when documented by a physician.
Republicans will have a different set of questions including: Should equal protection of the law be extended to both born and pre-born persons beginning at conception?
There will also be a question focusing on income tax.