South Carolina holding ‘First in the South’ primary

WCSC - What to expect at the polls SC Primary

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The 'First in the South' Democratic Presidential Preference Primary takes place on Saturday in South Carolina.

The palmetto state is the only state holding a Saturday primary. This is also the first presidential primary for any southern state.

"I actually prefer Saturday, but any day of the week, I'm going to be here," said Deanna McGuire at the Stiles Point Elementary voting site.

Many believe South Carolina has a chance to declare an early front runner for the 2020 election.

South Carolina chose to hold an early election this Saturday instead of participating in Super Tuesday, which is when most states will be voting on March 3.

South Carolina chose to not hold a republican primary for this election. However, any registered voter is allowed to vote in the primaries, no matter their party affiliation.

State and county election officials are conducting the primary elections in South Carolina. They are not

conducted by the parties as in other states.

South Carolina’s Presidential Primaries are conducted by election professionals at public polling places using

certified voting equipment.

This voting system, ExpressVote ballot-marking system, is new for South Carolina.

They contain touchscreen machines that you vote on, but it produces a paper ballot for every voter to submit

to officials to check.

The state spent $51 million for this new paper-based voting system. It hopes the new system protects against

digital tampering.

In 2016, South Carolina had a 12.6% voter turn out for the presidential preference primary.

A poll manager at Stiles Point Elementary on James Island said he expects there to be 600-700 votes on

Saturday. He says this only about a quarter of how many people he sees in November at the site.

"It's very important to vote period. No matter who the candidate is and I just feel like it's our duty as citizens," said McGuire.

Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday. Officials say if you are in line at 7 p.m., you will be eligible to vote.

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