Aiken County sees low voter turnout, distinct candidate support

June 13, 2018

The choices made by Aiken County primary voters did not induce much nail biting.

On Tuesday, 13.4 percent of registered Aiken County voters hit the polls. Republican votes more than doubled Democratic votes. Just under 16,000 ballots were cast in total.

State turnout hovered around 14 percent early in the night and later exceeded 17 percent.

Immediate leaders in Aiken County included Republican S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster and state Rep. James Smith, D-Columbia, who are both running for governor; S.C. Secretary of State Mark Hammond; S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson; and Annabelle Robertson, a Democrat running to replace U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C.

Smith was predicted as the winner around 9 p.m. and later received the Democratic nod.

In Aiken County, Marguerite Willis posed the biggest threat to Smith, according to the final vote tally. Phil Noble, the third Democrat running for governor, received about half the votes Willis did in Aiken County.

Catherine Templeton, a Republican gubernatorial candidate, stayed on McMaster’s heels throughout the night in Aiken. She ended up 1 percent behind McMaster, but was ultimately cut from the governor runoff between businessman John Warren and the incumbent McMaster.

Warren earned 17.9 percent of Aiken County votes.

Gubernatorial candidate Yancey McGill, a Republican, got less than 1 percent of Aiken County votes.

Hammond, the incumbent Republican running for secretary of state, took a three-digit lead within the first hour of vote calculations in Aiken County.

He finished with a massive lead in the county Tuesday, and was predicted to be the overall Republican winner around 8:30 p.m.

Alan Wilson conquered Aiken County in the attorney general race, securing nearly 52 percent of the vote. His closest competitor, Todd Atwater, earned 28 percent of the vote. The third Republican candidate, William Herlong, got 19 percent of the vote.

By late Tuesday night, Alan Wilson was facing a potential runoff. Runoffs are scheduled for June 26.

Robertson and her primary opponent, Sean Carrigan, were also predicted to head into a runoff at around 10 p.m.

In Aiken County, Robertson ended up roughly 16 percent ahead of Carrigan.

Both Democratic advisory questions – do you support doctors prescribing medical marijuana and do you support accepting federal revenue for Medicaid – received a resounding “yes” in Aiken County.

Both Republican advisory questions also received an extremely strong “yes” in the county. Those questions related to political affiliation and bringing the state’s tax code into conformity with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

The ballot questions are non-binding and are used for information purposes.

Several races had not been fully decided by deadline Tuesday night.