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Key Local Races Start to Take Shape
web posted November 2, 2012
COUNTY – A reader poll of three important
local elections has shown some surprising results this week. Some were
expected, others were not. The races being polled were County Council
Districts 1 and 4 as well as School Board District 3. All results are
unscientific although readers were only allowed one vote per IP
address, removing spouses and other voting age readers to vote in the
poll if using the same home computer.
In County Council District 4, this places incumbent Willie Bright as a
petition candidate rather than Democrat, against fellow Democrat turned
petition candidate Betty Butler and Write-in candidate Helen Garvin in
a three way race.
With votes tallied Thursday night, Helen Garvin was leading with 56% of
the vote followed by Betty Butler with 29%. Incumbent Willie Bright
picked up 15% of likely voters. Although we believe this poll is skewed
by respondents, the spilt in Democrat voters between Bright and Butler
gives Garvin at least a 5 point margin of winning the seat.
In County Council District 1 there is another three-way race. 20 Year
incumbent Norman Dorn (D) is facing off against independent William
"Bill" Smith" and write-in candidate George Prescott. With over 200
votes cast in the poll, Smith leads with 80% against 13% for Dorn and
7% for Prescott.
We expect that race to be a lot closer than the poll shows. When
breaking down the numbers, we believe Smith has a lead of 3 points by
one measure and a 10 point lead in the second measure. Absentee voting
will play a key role in this race.
The last poll conducted was between sitting School Board member James
Bibbs and Monica Mims. With nearly 100 votes cast, Mims comes out on
top 78% to 22% for Bibbs.
We believe that this race will be closer as well, though all
indications show Mims with a commanding lead comprised of voters across
These races are unique as the 2012 election process was marred by
candidates being kicked off the ballot and having to file as petition
candidates as non-partisan after a South Carolina Supreme Court ruling
on filing documents submitted to run for office.
In a review of voting trends in the county over the past three
presidential elections, well over 50% of Democrats voted a straight
ticket. If that trend is balanced at 50% this year, half of all
Democrat voters will not be voting in two of the three above mentioned
races. That gives Republicans and Independents a huge advantage at the
polls in this year's elections.
Absentee voting has seen an increase this year with well over 2,000
ballots being requested and others voting absentee at the voter
registration office. Since South Carolina does not require a voter to
register by party, trying to decipher what party affiliation voters
identify is impossible.
As always, Edgefield Daily will have a live feed on voter results on
Election night Tuesday and will be the first media outlet to project
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