Some Aiken County voters have some election business to attend to today.
In New Ellenton, there's a City Council election to fill the unexpired term of Chris Beam. There is one polling location -- the new Ellenton Civic Center -- and the race is between Republican Charles Duval and Democrat Sammie McDuffie, although the partisan labels don't mean too much in this town.
North Augusta also has a councilmanic race to fill the unexpired term of Lark Jones, who's now mayor. It's a GOP primary featuring two fine candidates, Dane Anderson and Kenneth J. McDowell. (Anderson, an unsuccessful mayoral candidate earlier this year, is articulate and intelligent -- but went for the top spot too soon. We're glad he's opting for some Council experience.)
The race that's generating the most sparks, though, is the South Carolina District 81 House of Representatives Republican primary between incumbent Rep. Rudy Mason, R-Aiken, and challenger Rebekah Sutherland.
While Mason is a conservative on many issues, first-timer Sutherland is running to his political right stressing "parental rights" and family values.
Unfortunately, this is a redrawn district with some confusing split precincts, especially in Aiken. There are also precincts ranging from College Acres (a new section including Old Powderhouse Road, Wise Hollow and Craft Lane) and Town Creek (an area bordered by Silver Bluff Road, Richardson Lake Road and Boyd Pond Road).
Turnout is expected to be low, so every vote counts. If a potential voter has questions, call the Aiken County Registration and Election Office at (803) 642-2030.