Your guide to the primary elections in South Carolina

Sen. Tim Scott questions Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell during the Senate Banking Committee hearing on March 3. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc/Getty Images)

South Carolina’s most competitive 2022 primaries will take place in its House races. GOP Sen. Tim Scott and GOP Gov. Henry McMaster are both up for reelection, but Scott is unopposed in his primary and McMaster faces only minor competition. 

Here are other key races to watch:

Rep. Tom Rice, left, and Russell Fry, right.
Rep. Tom Rice, left, and Russell Fry, right. (AP/Getty Images)
  • 7th Congressional District (GOP primary): Rep. Tom Rice was one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump after the Jan. 6 insurrection. Trump recently endorsed his primary challenger — state Rep. Russell Fry. Fry appeared at a rally with Trump and said voters would “impeach” Rice at the “ballot box.” Despite the backlash from the Trump base, Rice has stood by his decision to vote to impeach Trump. After Trump’s endorsement announcement, Rice said if “the president can try to intimidate Congress into doing what he wants, well shoot, we might as well have a monarchy.” A new ad from Rice in the final stages of the race urges primary voters to “put results over revenge” and “progress over pettiness.”
Rep. Nancy Mace, left, and Rep. Katie Arrington, right.
Rep. Nancy Mace, left, and Rep. Katie Arrington, right. (Getty Images)
  • 1st Congressional District (GOP primary): Republican Rep. Nancy Mace flipped the seat in 2020 — defeating Democratic Rep. Joe Cunningham — and is now seeking a second term. She is being challenged in the Republican primary by conservative former state Rep. Katie Arrington, who is making her second run for the seat. Arrington ousted GOP Rep. Mark Sanford in the 2018 Republican primary but then lost the general election. While Mace didn’t vote to impeach Trump — and has tried to walk a tightrope between the Trump base and more moderate Republicans — the former President has backed Arrington in the race. The third candidate in the race, Lynz Piper-Loomis, dramatically dropped out of the race mid-debate and endorsed Arrington. Votes cast for her will be counted.

Poll times: Polls opened at 7 a.m. ET and close at 7 p.m. ET. 

Voter eligibility: The deadline to register to vote was May 15 online or by fax or email. Mail registration applications could be accepted if they’re postmarked by May 16.

Only some voters are eligible to vote by mail. Applications were due June 3 and ballots must be received by the close of polls on Election Day. Early in-person voting is available to all South Carolina voters. Early voting ran from May 31 to June 10 but isn’t available on weekends.

Those going to the polls will need to provide one of the following forms of ID in order to vote: A South Carolina driver’s license, a South Carolina motor vehicle ID card, a South Carolina voter registration card, a federal military ID or a US passport. 

South Carolina does not require voters to register with a political party. Voters can choose to vote in either the Democratic or Republican primary. 

How ballots are counted: Election officials in South Carolina can process mail ballots at 9 a.m. ET on Election Day. Early and mail-in ballots will likely be the first votes reported once polls close.

How a candidate wins their race: Candidates in South Carolina primaries must win more than 50% of the vote to avoid a runoff. If necessary, runoffs would be held on June 28. 

See how the state’s new congressional map shifts voting power.

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