The votes are in for the Democratic primary in the race for Abbeville County's next sheriff.
Greenwood County deputy Ray Watson won outright, according to unofficial results, accumulating 1,793 votes to narrowly notch the 51 percent needed to avoid a runoff.
The primary was the first election Lakelands voters participated in since the state's new voter ID law went into effect Jan. 1. Abbeville County Voter Registration and Elections Director Kim London said the election process went off without much of a hitch.
"There were not any problems that I know of," she said. "People came with their IDs. We had a couple people come in and get their picture made after they found out about the law. Other than that, it was really smooth."
Election officials said about 25 percent of Abbeville County's 15,000 registered voters turned out to cast a ballot Tuesday. That pales in comparison to the 73 percent of registered voters who turned out for last November's election day. But officials said the rate was not bad considering the difference in circumstances between the two races. Last year's race was a presidential campaign that also had several local and statewide elected positions on the line. In fact, the Democratic primary last June drew just 3,014 voters compared to more than 3,500 Tuesday.
"For a special election with one race, I guess it's not so bad," London said. "It's not the general election, but you can't complain."
The new law requires voters to show a state driver's license, federal military ID, U.S. passport, voter registration card with photo, or an ID card issued by the state Department of Motor Vehicles in order to be allowed to vote at polling booths.
The March 19 party primaries for the vacant 1st Congressional District were the state's first election to enforce the new law. London said her biggest concern was voters would not bring their required IDs and poll workers might have to turn them away.
"I thought they were just going to say, 'Well I've always done it like this.' But they didn't," she said. "They came with their IDs. They actually had their IDs and their old (voting) cards without the ID. So, they came in prepared."
MORE IN TODAY'S INDEX-JOURNAL