Fort Mill choosing Town Council member in special election today

Some Fort Mill residents will vote at different polling places in today’s special election for a Town Council seat.

Fort Mill voters will choose today between Sean Jones and James Shirey to fill the Town Council seat vacated by Nathan Blythe. The winner will represent Ward 1 – which stretches from west of Interstate 77 near Sutton Road, eastward to White Street near downtown – but all registered voters in town can cast a ballot.

Where those voters go and what they’ll need to bring with them is a little different this election.

For this election only, the nine Fort Mill precincts will vote in only six locations:

• Fort Mill No. 5 (usually voting at the Flint Hill Fire Department) will join Fort Mill No. 4 and Springfield at Unity Presbyterian Church, 303 Tom Hall St..

• Kanawha, (a new precinct that would usually vote at Philadelphia United Methodist Church) will vote alongside Riverview voters at St. Philip Neri Catholic Church, 292 Munn Road East.

• Dobys Bridge (Doby’s Bridge Presbyterian Church, 2500 Dobys Bridge Road), Fort Mill No. 1 (Fort Mill Town Hall, 112 Confederate St.), Fort Mill No. 2 (Glenrock Baptist Church, 1815 Dobys Bridge Road) and Fort Mill No. 3 (Sisk Memorial Baptist Church, 115 Massey St.) precincts will vote in their usual locations.

Wanda Hemphill, director of the York County Voter Registration and Elections Department, said the precincts were relocated because of so-called “doughnut holes” within precincts – areas that have not been annexed into town limits and remain under county jurisdiction.

“The majority of the people who live in those precincts do no live in the town,” she said.

The Kanawha precinct has 26 registered voters living in the town. With few voters and lower voter turnout expected for this special election than for general elections, reducing polling locations saves the town money, Hemphill said.

New voter ID requirements

Last year, a new state law required voters show photo identification to cast votes. This November brings a mid-term election, and expectation for the biggest voter turnout since the law’s implementation.

Acceptable forms of identification are: a state driver’s license, ID card from the Department of Motor Vehicles, state voter registration card with photo, federal military ID or U.S. passport.

Anyone who needs a free identification card can go today to Unity Presbyterian Church, 303 Tom Hall St., where county elections officials will be issuing photo ID cards from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

For more information about voting, go to yorkcountygov.com or call 803-684-1242.