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Turnout light across South Carolina as polls close

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - The Latest on South Carolina's primaries (all times local):

7:10 p.m.    

Election officials in South Carolina report so significant problems as the polls close for the state's primary elections. 

State Election Commission spokesman Chris Whitmire said Tuesday evening that a few counties reported heavier than normal turnout, but most places had light turnout.   

The chief races are Republican and Democratic primaries for governor. There are nine congressional primaries in South Carolina's seven U.S. House seats. Two of them involve incumbents.

U.S. Rep Mark Sanford is facing a well-financed challenger who said he doesn't support President Donald Trump enough. State Rep. Katie Arrington was the subject of a Trump message on Twitter asking voters to pick her.

4:30 p.m.

President Donald Trump is backing the opponent of U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford just hours before polls close in South Carolina.

Trump posted on his official Twitter account that Mark Sanford was very unhelpful to him and was better off in Argentina, referring to his trip to South America to have an affair in 2009 when his staff said he was hiking the Appalachian Trail.

Trump asked South Carolina Republicans in the coastal 1st District around Charleston to back state Rep. Katie Arrington, who spent most of her campaign calling Sanford a "Never Trumper."   

Trump's post was made less than three hours before polls closed.

Sanford has never lost in eight primaries in South Carolina, including in his return to the U.S. House after the affair marred the end of his second term as governor.


12:30 p.m.
Election officials in South Carolina report a generally light turnout in primary voting.

Election Commission spokesman Chris Whitmire said Tuesday afternoon the overall turnout is light as Republicans and Democrats select candidates for the fall elections.   

He says primary turnout typically ranges from 13 percent to 27 percent of registered voters.    

Whitmire says turnout has been heavier in Cherokee and Darlington counties, where there are sharply contested local races.    

No serious voting problems have been reported. Whitmire said a few locations had power outage problems because of Monday night storms. But he says that did not affect voting and the problems were quickly resolved.    

The high priority races in South Carolina are for governor. Gov. Henry McMaster faces four challengers for the Republican nomination. Three Democrats seek their party's nomination.
7 a.m.

South Carolinians have started voting in primary elections, with the governor's race at the top of the ticket.


Republican Gov. Henry McMaster has the backing of President Trump as voters cast ballots Tuesday. McMaster is being challenged by four candidates, Lt. Gov. Kevin Bryant, former Lt. Gov. Yancey McGill, Charleston attorney Catherine Templeton and Greenville businessman John Warren.



Charleston consultant Phil Noble, Columbia Rep. James Smith and Florence attorney Marguerite Willis are seeking the Democratic nomination.



Runoffs are possible June 26 in both contests. South Carolina requires candidates to get more than half of the vote to win a nomination.



There are also primaries in some of South Carolina's seven congressional districts. Republican Reps. Mark Sanford and Tim Rice are among those facing primary challengers.

Polls close at 7 p.m. 

For SC voter information & polling locations:

For more information on candidates, go to

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