The most important election in your district might be this Tuesday

Both parties are holding primaries for Congressional and state legislative offices on Tuesday, June 11. Do you know which races you are eligible to vote in? We have a few resources on our Voting Information Center page to help you get ready.


The unfortunate reality in our state is that most electoral maps for legislative office are drawn to favor one political party or the other. While it is still important to vote in the November general election, the June 11 primary is often where the outcomes of these political contests are determined.

While you are required to register to vote in South Carolina, registration is not tied to a political party. You can vote in either party's primary, but not in both. This is what is known as an "open primary," and it gives you, the voter, the opportunity to make a difference even in a gerrymandered district. On Episode 6 of our podcast While I Breathe, Voting Rights Staff Attorney Tish Gotell Faulks made the case for voting in a primary:

Knowing that the outcome of an election is probably determined during the primary, the first best way to have your voice heard, even if you are not a member of the party having the primary, is to go out and vote in that primary. Select the best of the choices offered in the primary rather than rejecting the primary outright and then having the representative that was chosen by those who opted to come out and vote ... Voting is not about voting for the best candidate of your party. It's about voting for the best candidate.

You can listen to the rest of the episode here, or search for "Where I Breathe" wherever you get podcasts

We aren't satisfied with the status quo of electoral mapmaking in South Carolina, which is why we are working to end gerrymandering (by the way, have you signed our petition yet?). Still, your vote can have an impact, even with the unfair voting maps currently in place.