YEMASSEE, S.C. (WTOC) - Local elections are just a month away and the Town of Yemassee has recently annexed multiple properties - adding around 150 voters.
Citizens who live on Cochran Street are just some of the residents recently annexed into Yemassee. The Nov. 5 election will be their first time voting as Yemassee residents.
Ethel Denmark has lived in the area for 11 years. On Nov. 5, she will cast her first ballot in the Town of Yemassee after being annexed in July of 2018.
“I don’t want to be the complainer. I want to be the one to do something and my voting, you know, allows me to have a say in who becomes a city councilman, who becomes mayor, or any other position that has to be voted on," she said.
The Town of Yemassee has four candidates on the ballot for two city council spots. Two running are incumbents, but the significance of this election is more than just the ballot.
“Adding that base should prove to be pretty big in the election, and all along, we always considered those people residents of Yemassee," said Matt Garnes, Yemassee Town Clerk. "I mean, they were right down the road, but now, when they opted to annex in last year, one of the benefits of annexation, they can, you know, run for town council. They can be on any boards and commission. They have a voice and they get to vote in elections.”
The deadline to register to vote is Friday, Oct. 4 by 5 p.m., but people who can’t make it to the office can register online or by mail if it’s postmarked for the 4th.
For a town of around 1,400, an extra 150 voters can make a large difference.
“We’re very excited. A lot of people are very eager to take part in, you know, the first town election. You know, in the past, a lot of people had come up and they thought that they were in Yemassee because their mail comes from Yemassee, and a lot of people don’t realize that Yemassee 29945 zip code, it actually spans four counties, and now they actually get to take part in the political process. They have a voice, and I think a lot of them are very excited, so we’re eager and excited to see what the turnout is.”
Remember, your voice matters.
“We see, every day, the results of our local elections because it’s very important that people take part - an active role, I guess in the day-to-day things that happen in our towns,” Garnes said. “Our local officials truly care about what happens. We live in these communities. We want to take an active part. Our council members truly care about the communities. We’re invested in the communities and we look out for the well-being of the residents and our visitors, and we truly want to make the community the best it can be.”
“Come out and vote. Don’t complain. Come out and vote, and let your vote be heard,” Denmark said.
Town ordinance says campaign signs can be put out 30 days out from the election, so expect them to be popping up around Saturday.
Election day is Tuesday, Nov. 5. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
For the new Town of Yemassee residents, you must be a registered voter and a town resident for 30 days prior to Election Day. All residents who were annexed into the Town of Yemassee in 2018 or 2019, you should have received an updated voter registration card from Hampton County. If you have questions, contact (803) 914-2080.