Waits, Ragland top vote getters in Pelzer


Pelzer Mayor Roger Scott (right) votes as Precinct Clerk Calvin Waters explains use of the new paper-based voting system used in Tuesday’s election in Pelzer. (Journal photo)

By Stan Welch
Several municipal elections were held throughout Anderson County Tuesday, including those for Pelzer and West Pelzer.
Will Ragland, who lost his reelection bid in the previous election, was returned to office by a more than three to one margin over the third and fourth place vote getters, receiving 104 votes to 32 votes each for Gary Pridmore and David Hatley.
Incumbent Eddie Waits was the top vote getter with 126 votes, while Brian Haynes received 8. Margaret Jamison received five votes, despite withdrawing from the race earlier. Councilmember Olene Bear has announced that she will resign her seat effective the first of the year. That action will necessitate a special election to fill that seat.
A total of 158 votes were cast in Pelzer, reflective of a voter turnout of just above twenty percent.
“I want to thank the voters for the opportunity to serve Pelzer again,” Waits said. “I’m looking forward to what our council can accomplish.”
Ragland said he is looking forward to again being a part of Pelzer Town Council. “I’m honored to join Eddie Waits and council to work for Pelzer,” he said. “Our town has such huge potential, and by working together we can achieve great things. I look forward to getting started in January!”

In West Pelzer, incumbent Mayor Blake Sanders , along with incumbent Council member James Riddle, Sr., ran unopposed; as did newcomer Patricia Alexander. Seventy eight votes were cast, or approximately sixteen per cent turnout.
Voters used the new paper-based system that is replacing the state’s aging paperless system that has been in place since 2004. Voters in municipal elections across the state, including Pelzer and West Pelzer, were among the first to use the new Election Systems and Software (ES&S) ExpressVote voting system. The new voting system functioned smoothly according to poll workers at both locations.

The system involved the use of a paper ballot and making selections on a touchscreen. The paper ballot was then scanned and used to produce an electronic ballot. That ballot was read by another machine, which recorded the votes and retained the paper copy for further reference, if necessary.
The results presented here are unofficial until later this week when the election commission will certify them.


Original post . . .

Incumbent councilman Eddie Waits and former councilman Will Ragland were the two top vote getters in the Pelzer Election Tuesday. Unofficial results posted shortly after the polls closed at 7 p.m. showed Waits had 126 votes, Ragland 104, Incumbent Gary Pridmore received 32 votes, David Hatley 32, while Brian Haynes had 8 and Margaret Jamison, who had withdrawn from the race before the election, received 5 votes.

Waits said, “The voices have spoken and we now begin a new journey as we go into 2020. Thank you to everybody who supported me and came out to vote. I will continue to work for them.”