By Paul Gable
Mark Lazarus earned the Republican nomination for Horry County Council chairman Tuesday night defeating Al Allen by a 55% – 45% margin in a special primary election runoff. With no Democratic candidate, Lazarus should be guaranteed a win in the special election April 30, 2013.
I say ‘should be’ because voter turnout was so horrible it’s not beyond the pale that someone could put together a last minute write-in campaign to make general election voting interesting. I don’t expect this to happen, because it would take a candidate who could fire up the voters to make it happen and such a candidate has been sadly lacking in this special election season.
Both of these campaigns certainly underwhelmed voters. Despite estimates that both Lazarus and Allen went over the $100,000 threshold for campaign spending, less than 7 percent of the voters countywide bothered to cast ballots – actually 6.45%.
Looking at it another way, nearly 94% of the registered voters in the county chose to stay home rather than make the effort to vote. Lazarus won the nomination with only approximately 3.5 % of the registered voters casting a ballot for him.
The actual voting was not without hitches. According to information Grand Strand Daily received, the S.C. Election Commission programmed the voting machines incorrectly so they wouldn’t automatically close out at the end of voting. We learned all machines had to be reprogrammed after the close of voting so they would close out and vote totals could be obtained.
Results will be certified at a meeting of the Horry County Election Commission Thursday morning.