Voters will notice something unusual on Charleston ballots

By Valencia

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV){}-- For the first time, Charleston County has 12 offices with no candidate on the November ballot.

"We normally don't have an election like that," said Joe Debney, election director for the Board of Elections for Charleston County. "I think some of it was the Supreme Court decision where a lot of candidates got pulled off because of filing reasons."

The Charleston County School Board downtown seat is one of the open races.

Todd Garrett is one of the candidates hoping to win as a write-in candidate.

"I've been working at it for six months," Garrett said. "Met with over 5,000 people over the last two months alone and going to neighborhood associations, to different party functions to try to get in front of PTA's and parents and meeting with principals and kids at the schools."

250 signatures of downtown active voters are required in order to be put on the ballot.

"I submitted 306 and 191 were approved. So, that is why I didn't get on the ballot."

Instead of giving up, Garrett says not making the ballot was more of an incentive to keep trying.

"For the last three years it's [the school board] been famously dysfunctional," said Garrett. "I want to refocus from the personalities back to educating kids in the classroom."

Also running as a write-in candidate is Dr. Louis Weinstein.

"When I found out that the two candidates that were running were disqualified from the ballot because they didn't have adequate or appropriate signature, this was an opportunity for somebody, even though I am not a native Charlestonian, to run for the board," said Weinstein.

Weinstein previously served on a school board in Ohio. He says it is crucial for the peninsula to have sufficient representation.

"What I would ask the community is to consider voting for me. But if they choose not to, please vote for somebody on the school board on all the seats -- the downtown, West Ashley and North Charleston, because the future of our community revolves around a quality education program."

So far, the Charleston County Board of Elections reports three write-in candidates have contacted their office for the county school board downtown race. Officials would not specifically name those three candidates.

Other candidates have also been named through outside sources. Click here to learn about those candidates.