With the exception of a disturbance at Central, which ended with a visit by the law and a brief power outage at Hebron, the major factor that made this election year unique was the crowd. A little over 75 percent of the 21,989 registered voters in Williamsburg County braved a cold snap, and at times, long lines to exercise their right to vote. Kingstree 2, 3 and 4 precincts recorded the lowest voter turnout at 40 to 50 percent turnout while Pergamos, Singletary, Muddy Creek, Harmony and Earles experienced 70 to 80 percent voter turnout.
Voters may have noticed a quiet presence at some polls. Men and women from the Justice Department made appearances in light of recent issues such as alleged voting machine fraud, intimidation and other problems. The US Attorney’s Office and the Justice Department were overseeing complaints of election fraud and voting rights abuses. In addition, special agents with the Justice Department were observed at some county precincts. However, with the exception of a few flared tempers no serious problems were reported.
All but one local race ended in the incumbent keeping his position. Williamsburg County Sheriff Michael Johnson led the way with the widest margin, sealing 12,582 votes to opponent Sandy Thompson’s 2,641. Just behind Johnson was Williamsburg County Council District 5 incumbent Andy McKnight with 1,412 votes to David Owens’ 891. A complete listing of results can be viewed on page 10.