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Voting changes await Nov. 4 vote

York County is working to meet eligibility ahead of the biggest election to test the South Carolina photo identification law to date.

The county Voter Registration and Elections office scheduled six free events through Oct. 7 to provide proper identification. The last two scheduled are 2:30-5 p.m. Oct. 2 at Clover Community Center at 120 Bethel St. in Clover, and one Oct. 7 in Fort Mill.

“You can go to any of them,” said Wanda Hemphill, registration office director. “We just try to place them strategically in the county.”

A law requiring photo identification to vote in South Carolina elections began last year. Proper ID includes 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. The county events will provide cards for other registered voters.

The Nov. 4 general election brings a slew of contested state and local elections, including the office of governor, attorney general, superintendent of education and two U.S. Senate seats. Locally, voters will help decide U.S. House District 5, state House District 48 and two spots on Clover School District Board of Trustees.

Several new voting precincts are new or changed this year, including several in Lake Wylie. Bethel No. 1 is now Bethel, still voting at the Bethel Volunteer Fire Department station at 5600 Highway 557. Bethel No. 2 is now River Hills, still voting at River Hills Community Church.

Rock Creek is a new precinct voting at Bethel Presbyterian Church. River’s Edge is a new precinct voting at Bethel Baptist Church. Larne and Roosevelt are new precincts in Clover, while the former Clover No. 1 and Clover No. 2 precincts are now Clover and Hampton Mill, respectively.

The Baxter area between Fort Mill and Tega Cay was split into three precincts for the same reason new ones came in Lake Wylie.

“That had gotten to be over 4,000 voters,” Hemphill said. “It was huge.”

Hemphill’s office is sending out new voter registration cards by mail detailing the changes to impacted voters.

“We want to give people an opportunity to become somewhat acclimated to them before the presidential election,” Hemphill said. “And before you know it, it will be here.”