Vote for new Council member, mayor on Feb. 12

  • Posted: 2/7/2013 11:01 AM
    6/1/2013 6:00 PM

Riverview Park Activities Center is to be the center of attention for local voters Tuesday, during the Republican primary, as the only location for voting for North Augusta City Council.

David Toole, chairman of North Augusta's municipal Republican Party, has confirmed the single site. Voting hours are to be 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., he said.

No Democrats have filed to run, so Tuesday's voting could determine the Council's composition, depending on whether anyone enters the race in the final days.

Three incumbents and two challengers are on the GOP ballot. Newcomers include David McGhee and Fletcher Dickert. Incumbents are Lark Jones (who has no opposition in his bid to return as mayor), Pat Carpenter and Arthur Shealy.

The mayor has been in office since May 1997, and was originally elected to Council in 1985. Carpenter was first elected in 1993, and Shealy was first elected in 2000.

The terms of the other Council members - Jimmy Adams, Ken McDowell and Carolyn Baggott - expire in 2015. The Council usually has seven members but is going through a period with six, as Jason Whinghter resigned in January, having moved to the Jackson-Beech Island area a few weeks before the end of his term. He was elected for the first time in 2005.

Absentee voting can be done in Aiken at the Aiken County Board of Registrations and Elections, 916 Vaucluse Road, next to the county government building.

In keeping with a new law that went into effect Jan. 1, voters will be required to show a photo identification at Riverview Park.

Voters have five options in photo IDs: an S.C. driver's license, an ID card issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles, a voter registration card with a photo, federal military ID or a U.S. passport. The ID must be current and valid.

A person who already has one of the qualifying photo IDs is ready to vote.

Previously, voters had to show only one of three forms of ID: a S.C. driver's license, a S.C. ID card issued by the state DMV or a S.C. voter registration card.

If a person does not have a photo ID on election day because of a "reasonable impediment," he or she may vote a provisional ballot after showing a non-photo voter registration card and signing an affidavit attesting to the voter's identity and impediment.

Examples of reasonable impediments include religious objection to being photographed, lack of transportation, disability or illness, lack of birth certificate, work schedule and family responsibilities.

If a person doesn't have a reasonable impediment and doesn't have a qualifying ID, he or she can still vote a provisional ballot at the polls; however, for the vote to count, that person must provide one of the qualifying IDs to the county election commission before the certification of the election, which is usually the Thursday or Friday after the election.