• 57°

Polk board of elections approves early voting dates

COLUMBUS – Polk County’s municipality voters will be able to vote early for this year’s municipal elections.

The Polk County Board of Elections recently approved the early voting, or one-stop, dates and times. The state board of elections has approved the dates, but not yet approved the times, but it is expected Polk County’s times will be approved by the state soon.

Early voting will begin on Thursday, Oct. 19 and run through Saturday, Nov. 4.

Early voting can only be done at the Polk County Board of Elections office, which is located on the second floor of the Womack building in Columbus.

Thursday and Friday, Oct. 19 and 20, voting can be done at the office from 8:30 a.m. -5 p.m.

Monday, Oct. 23 through Friday, Oct. 27 and Monday, Oct. 30 through Friday, Nov. 3, voting can also be done between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m.

The only Saturday early voting is possible will be on Saturday, Nov. 4 at the board of elections office from 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

The general election will be the following Tuesday, Nov. 7, with the polling locations open in Columbus, Saluda and Tryon.

The last day to register to vote in Polk County for this year’s election is Friday, Oct. 13.

This year’s municipal election has races for all towns.

Town of Columbus

Incumbent Columbus Mayor Eric McIntyre will run unopposed but there are six candidates to fill three council seats. Incumbents Mark Phillips and Richard Hall are being challenged by Ernie Kan, Brent Jackson, Marshall “Buddy” Watkins and Robert Williamson. Denton’s seat is also up for re-election, but he chose not to run this year.

City of Saluda

There will be races for both mayor and council in Saluda. Incumbent Saluda Mayor Fred Baisden is being challenged by Heath Potter. For council, incumbents Carolyn Ashburn and Mark Oxtoby are being challenged by Paul Marion and Teddy Stevens.

Town of Tryon

Tryon will also have races for its mayor, council and a special council seat that is for a two-year term to fill the vacancy.

Incumbent Tryon Mayor Alan Peoples is being challenged by Jerry Thomas. Incumbent commissioner Bill Ingham is also running along with commissioner Bill Crowell, who was appointed to fill a vacant seat in 2015. Crowell and Ingham are being challenged by Helen Ringus.

The other open seat in Tryon has Chrelle Booker, who was appointed to fill the open seat left by former commissioner Roy Miller, who resigned this year, running against John Fowler.

Municipal election candidates run non-partisan and no primary election is held.

The City of Landrum also has an election this year with incumbent mayor Bob Briggs running unopposed and incumbent council members Randy Wohnig, Tammy Cox and Bill Ingham filing to run. Newcomer Daniel Prince also filed to run for city council.

South Carolina does not participate in early voting except for absentee ballots.