Voter turnout was described as light in South Carolina on Tuesday, as voters trickled to the polls to cast ballots in primary elections.
Stormy weather in the Lowcountry and low participation, historically, in primaries kept turnout down, said Chris Whitmire, a spokesman for the State Election Commission.
"Anecdotal reports from an overall, real broad perspective is (turnout is) light and slow," he said.
But local races, such as the Richland County Council and 5th Circuit Solicitor's primaries, drove up turnout in some isolated areas.
"We're looking at 20 to 25 percent" turnout, said Richland County Elections Director Rokey Suleman.
Voter turnout is traditionally light on primary election days even though several offices will be decided in the primaries because the winners face no opposition in November.
Four years ago, statewide turnout was 16 percent. And in 2010, the last year for a contested gubernatorial primary, turnout registered at 24 percent.
Throughout Tuesday morning and early afternoon, many Columbia-area precincts were reporting little to no wait times.
In a Forest Acres precinct that's normally busy, 15 people had voted within 15 minutes of the polls opening at Trenholm Park — five in the Republican primary and 10 in the Democratic. An hour later at the Devine Street fire station, 80 people had voted, with about a 4-to-1 ratio of Democratic to Republican ballots cast.
Both of those precincts, in Richland County, feature a hot-topic Democratic race not included on the Republican ballot: A heated contest for the 5th Circuit solicitor between embattled incumbent Dan Johnson and challenger Byron Gipson.
Precincts across Richland County had seen, on average, between 10 and 15 percent turnout before noon, Suleman said. Other than minor "hiccups," voting was running smoothly, he said.