Early voting begins next week

Published 11:19 pm Thursday, October 10, 2019

Early voting Oct. 16-Nov. 1 Monday-Friday

COLUMBUS—Anyone wanting to get a jump on this year’s municipal election can vote early beginning next Wednesday, Oct. 16. 

Early voting for Polk County’s three towns is open from Oct. 16-Nov. 1. Early voting can only be done at the Polk County Board of Elections Office, located on the second floor of the Womack building in Columbus. 

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The office is open Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. There will be no early voting on Saturdays for the municipal election. 

Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 5. Polls in Columbus, Saluda and Tryon will be open on Election Day from 6:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m. 

Columbus will have the biggest race for council this year, with three open seats and six people filing. Current Columbus Mayor Eric McIntyre did not file for re-election, with Patrick McCool filing and running unopposed. 

In Columbus, along with McCool filing for mayor, incumbent council members Richard Hall, Margaret Metcalf and Mark Phillips also filed. Ernie Kan, Brent Jackson and Steve E. Christopher filed to challenge the incumbents for the three open council seats. 

Saluda will also have a race for two open council seats. Saluda had three people file for the seats. Incumbent commissioners Stanley Walker and Leon Morgan both filed to retain their seats, along with challenger Robert “Bob” Ross. 

Tryon will not have a race for either mayor or two open council seats. The incumbents were the only ones to file. Incumbent mayor Alan Peoples filed to retain his seat along with incumbent commissioners Cry Armbrust and Chrelle Booker filing to retain their seats. 

Polk County Board of Elections Director Cliff Marr said that many races are uncontested, but all contests will have a write-in slot by law. As long as the write-in candidate is a registered voter in the jurisdiction, the vote will county. The municipal write-in law is different from county and state elections, where the write-in candidate must be a qualified candidate by a petition. 

Landrum’s municipal election will also be held on Tuesday, Nov. 5, but there is no early voting. 

Saluda will also have a special referendum on the ballot this year regarding alcohol sales. 

The referendum will ask Saluda voters if they are for or against permitting the sale of mixed beverages in hotels, restaurants, private clubs, community theatres and convention centers.