Updated 3:30 p.m.
Voter turnout is running low for the three races in today's city of Columbia elections.
Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. today.
Polls workers around town say hundreds of people are casting ballots at some precincts, but that's far fewer than in previous city elections. Other polling places have yet to hit 100 voters.
By 2 p.m., 207 people had voted at Hand Middle School, Ward 12's polling place. At 1:30, about 190 people had cast ballots at Rosewood Elementary, in Ward 13. At 1:50 p.m., 121 people had voted at Logan School, in Ward 4. By 2:30 p.m., 213 had voted at A.C. Moore Elementary, in Ward 10.
But at 1:30, only 60 people had voted in the Hampton precinct, at South Kilbourne Elementary.
Black-majority precincts posted some of the lowest voter totals. Fewer than 60 people had voted by 1:15 p.m. in Ward 33, at M.L. King Park. By 12:30 p.m., 35 people had voted at Fairwold, at Pendergrass-Fairwold Elementary. And by 12:40 p.m., only 91 people had voted in the large Greenview precinct in north Columbia.
Near the Heathwood and Lake Katherine neighborhoods, two precincts were combined at Kilbourne Park Baptist Church. By 2:45 p.m., 103 people had voted in Ward 24, and 174 people in Ward 25.
On the city's south side, at Meadowfield Elementary, poll manager Nell Killoy said the election wasn’t on people’s radar the same way a mayoral, state or national election would be. By 3:35 p.m., 113 people had cast ballots.
At the Woodland Park precinct next door, turnout was slightly better, with 284 voters at 3:30 p.m. Poll manager Linda Allred said earlier in the day that she didn’t expect to see lines form out the door, but the precinct had seen steady traffic. The neighborhood is established, with a lot of longtime residents, she said, helping to bolster turnout. “This a good precinct,” she said.
Voter turnout in the nonpartisan election for three council members was expected to be low.
By 4:55 p.m. Monday, 335 people had voted absentee, compared with 1,617 who cast absentee ballots in the last nonmayoral race in 2008, according to the Richland County Elections and Voter Registration office.
Weather: Today will be a bit cooler, with highs in the upper 70s and a chance of thunderstorms.
Results: Follow thestate.com tonight after polls close for election results.
Three candidates are running for the at-large seat, voted on by residents across the city: Joe Azar, Robert Bolchoz and Cameron Runyan.
Two are running in District 2: Brian Newman and Nammu Muhammad.
Three are running in District 3, after Michael Miller dropped out last week: Daniel Coble, Moe Baddourah and Jenny Isgett.
A runoff election will be held April 17 for any race in which a candidate does not win an outright majority, meaning 50 percent of votes cast plus one additional vote.
Who can vote — and where
You already must be registered to vote today.
Bring your voter registration card to the polls. If you are newly registered and have not voted before, you also should bring a bank statement, a bill or a pay stub that shows proof of residency.
Know your polling place: Check the bottom of your voter registration card under “city council” to confirm the district you vote in, or go to South Carolina’s elections web site, scvotes.org, and click on “find your polling place.” Some council districts have changed as a result of the 2010 census.
Some smaller precincts have been combined, so be sure you know where to go. Find a list of polling places at thestate.com/elections.
Problems at your polling place with machines, long lines or other issues? Call The State, (803) 771-8560.
Everything you need to know at thestate.com/elections• Polling places
• Stories from candidate forums held across the city.
• Q&As with each of the candidates on a half-dozen policy questions.