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Minor changes are likely after South Carolina primary elections

COLUMBIA --- Saturday is the deadline to register to vote in the June primary elections, which could bring minor shake-ups in state representation for Aiken County residents.

Depending on the district, primary voters will have an open seat, one of two contested races or one of various uncontested candidates to consider on June 8.

North Augusta Republican Rep. Don Smith is not seeking re-election to the 83rd state House district, which stretches into Edgefield County. His retirement leaves the seat to Republicans Dea Baldwin and Bill Hixon, who will square off for the two-year position.

The primary winner will be the district's representative, because no Democrat has filed for the race.

There could be minor changes in the delegation if primary challengers oust incumbents.

In Aiken, Republican Jim Stewart is being challenged by Bill Taylor, and to the west, Rep. Roland Smith, R-Warrenville, the Aiken County delegation chairman, has drawn Republican rival Susan Swanson. No Democrat has filed to run for the 84th district, held by Smith, or the 86th district, held by Stewart.

Running for re-election unopposed in the Nov. 2 general election are representatives Tom Young, R-Aiken; Rep. Bill Clyburn, D-Aiken, whose district also includes part of Edgefield County; and Kit Spires, R-Pelion, who also represents a portion of Lexington County.

Ballots will also list choices from both parties for constitutional officers.

There are no state senators on the ballot, because the 46 members of the state Senate come up for election during every presidential election.

New voters have through Saturday to register to vote in the primary and may do so by registering in person at their county board of voter registration; by downloading the form at scvotes.org and mailing it postmarked by May 8 or by fax to their county voter registration office; or scanning the form and e-mailing it.

If you have already registered but moved from one county to another, you must be registered in your new county by Saturday.

Voter registration offices for Aiken and Edgefield counties will be open for walk-in registrations Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon.

The Republican and Democratic ballots are separate, and the poll manager will ask voters which ballot they want.

Voters can choose either, but not both. If a runoff is necessary, anyone who voted in the primary must participate in the same party's runoff. Voters who did not cast ballots in the primary may do so for either party in the runoff.

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