Lowcountry welcomes Election Day with key races

      CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) - It's decision day for Lowcountry voters. From Awendaw to Summerville, municipal races are taking place in almost every town and city.

      Big races on Tuesday include the Mount Pleasant Mayoral Race. Five candidates will be vying for the seat left empty by retiring out-going Mayor, Billy Swails. In the running are Joe Bustos, C Carl Carroll Jr., George A Freeman, Ken Glasson, and Linda G. Page.

      Isle of Palms, Awendaw, Lincolnville, McClellanville, Rockville, and Seabrook Island are also having mayoral elections on Tuesday.

      City of Charleston will have City Council elections with seats open in Districts 2,4,6,8,10, and 12, plus one CPW seat.

      In Dorchester County, voters will be faced with a tax referendum on the ballot. Citizens will be asked to either reject or accept a 1% sales tax hike in exchange for lower property taxes.

      Click here to see more details on all of the races and candidates.

      Polls open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. today throughout the Lowcountry. Voters will need a photo ID to vote in the elections.

      Dr. Scott Buchanan of the Citadel Political Science Department says voter turnout is lower on off election years, but it doesn't make the elections that less important.

      "Essentially what drives slighter higher turnout is a competitive race at the local level other than that most voters don't even bother or realize unless they are paying close attention unless they see yard signs they don't even realize," Dr. Scott Buchanan says.

      "Name recognition is gold in politics and if you are the incumbent unless you have done something to alienate the viewers usually you are going to get re-elected be that if it is local city council, congress, or the president-- incumbents usually get re-elected."