After a long night and full day of counting, unofficial election results are finally in for Pickens. Follow the link below for results from each race. Please note, these totals do not include a few dozen damaged ballots that still need to be counted as well as a small handful of provisional ballots that will be counted on Friday.
Unofficial results show Sheriff Donnie Craig wins another term; Kris Stancil beat Rob Jones in the primary for the commission chair seat (Stancil will face Independent candidate David Shouse in November); and Sue Finley overtook opponent Christopher Pence for school board post 4.
Follow link for details about the tax commissioner and school board post 1 races which appear they will head to a runoff.
(scroll below party question for local races)
Story from today's print edition.
Elections office staff, the elections board and a volunteer or two battled the pile of paper ballots until late into the night Tuesday at their office on Pioneer Road, but alas, the results of the Tuesday primary vote were not available at the Progress deadline at 11 p.m.
At about 9:30 p.m. Elections Supervisor Julianne Roberts said she felt they would finish about midnight but others working to open and handle all the paper ballots seemed less confident.
Approaching 10 p.m. no election results locally had been officially reported. The election workers were busy with the stacks of boxes of paper absentee ballots, even as one board member was logging in more ballots that people had brought to polls that day.
Elections Supervisor Roberts estimated between 2,000 and 3,000 people had chosen to send in a paper ballot due to COVID concerns, far more of the paper ballots than they have ever had to deal with before. No exact count of the absentee ballots was available as they were still logging them in. A representative of the computer company was scanning them as they were opened, which would produce the final tally.
Slowing the already arduous process, many of the ballots had tape, some quite a bit, that required one election board member to carefully open them using a pen knife.
Pickens was not alone in Election Day troubles, including issues with the new $104 million voting machines the state implemented this year to give paper backups of all ballots.
Pickens, like many counties, saw a court order extend voting hours at some precincts. Here Hill, Sharp Top and Ludville were given an extra hour at the end because of “equipment issues” when voting began that “deprived” voters of an hour at the start.
This marks the first time in modern history the Progress did not have the results of a major local election in the paper the following day. Please see our website for results. And see details, reactions and analysis in next week’s edition.