The deadline to vote in the South Carolina Republican Primary is only hours away, at 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, January 20. Voters boast the Republican Primary is ‘First in the South,’ but anyone not registered by the deadline will be unable to cast a ballot on February 20. The Democratic Primary is set for February 27; the last day to register to vote in that primary is on Wednesday, January 27. If you have not yet registered and would like to do so, click here.
“We’ve had a lot of the presidential candidates coming through speaking. Groups have been growing, and audiences have been getting larger and larger, so I can sense an excitement,” Beaufort County Republican Party Chairman Jim Riordan says of the upcoming Republican Primary.
“It’s a great thing for South Carolina to be ‘First in the South’ and have this recognition,” Riordan says.
South Carolina voters will choose their GOP candidate just after Iowa voters do.
“I think it’s critical, because it will give a candidate some momentum going into March, and March as you know, we have so many primaries going on across the country,” Riordan says.
He can’t tell who will get the nomination in the end, but he does hope all register to vote in time for the primary.
“The way the state law is written, in order to vote in any particular election, you must be registered at least 30 days prior to that election,” Beaufort County Board of Voter Registration and Elections Executive Director Marie Smalls says.
Smalls is already preparing for the Republican Primary and Democratic Primary, hoping for a high voter turnout.
“It will make us look good. It will make everyone across the nation recognize that South Carolina is an important state and that [voters] are participating,” Smalls says.
“Whether or not we’re so influential that we’ll choose a president, I’m not sure,” Riordan says.