Filing for 2016 public offices closed last week, which means it time to start getting to know the candidates that will be on the ballot in the June primary and November’s general election. While most of the media and political pundits are focused on national politics and the Presidential election, statewide and local elections have, arguably, the most significant impact on your day-to-day life. Whether it’s the upkeep of our roads, business taxes, zoning ordinances, EMS services, trash-pickup, or even a new speed bump in your neighborhood – these are all things that state or local governments make decisions on, and are things that can greatly improve or diminish your quality of life.
With so much media attention on the Presidential race, you may not see many headlines on our Greenville County Council, Sherriff, and Statehouse races, so we’re here to help you navigate the local election process.
Step 1: Find Out Who the Candidates Are
Everyone that has filed as a candidate for any seat can be found on scvotes.org under their candidate tracking system. You can sort by Greenville County and see everyone who’s running for a seat to represent Greenville.
Here’s a quick look at the Greenville seats that are up for re-election, with the contested races in red:
There is also a contested County Sheriff’s race, and the Register of Deeds, Clerk of Court, and Coroner seats are up for re-election, but uncontested.
You can see a cumulative list of candidates for the above races here by searching under Greenville County. If you aren’t sure which district you live in, you can find out here.
Step 2: Get to Know the Candidates
As a part of the Chamber’s #VoteGreenville2016 initiative, we’ll be hosting a series of forums for our local races before the June 14th primary. Over the months of April and May, chamber investors can attend one of our four forums where you can meet the primary candidates and learn about their platforms. These will be small meetings in the Chamber’s Board Room, with about 50-60 people. Each candidate will have time to introduce themselves, and then take questions. These forums are free to attend, but please register so we can save you a seat.
The Chamber will also be hosting two community-wide forums in conjunction with the Greenville News. These will be open to the public, and the dates and locations are TBA.
In addition to the forums, most of the candidates have campaign websites where you can learn a bit about them and their stances on certain issues. Many of them will also have campaign Facebook pages where you can find out what events they’ll be holding. Attend the forums, take a look at their websites and Facebooks, attend some of their events, and you’ll be better informed heading into the polls.
Step 3: Don’t forget about the Primaries!
Voter turnout for general elections in a Presidential year is usually high, but to make your vote really count, you’ll want to make sure you vote in the June 14th primary. The way districts have been gerrymandered over the years, heavily Republican or Democrat, many times the election is decided in the primaries.
Quick Facts and Links
- Deadline to register to vote in Primaries: May 14th
- Primaries: June 14th
- Primary Runoffs: June 28th
- Deadline to register to vote in General Election: October 8th
- General Election: November 8th
- Find out what districts you live in and where to vote
- Find out who’s running in your district
- Register to vote
<a href="http://www.freepik.com/free-vector/usa-election-vector-set-of-icons_715703.htm">Designed by Freepik</a>