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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 party lines.

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 potential winners.

For all past articles please visit our Archives

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