SOCIETY HILL, S.C. (WBTW) — Two votes unofficially separated the two candidates for mayor of Society Hill on Tuesday after residents went to the polls for a third time to decide the race, according to Hoyt Campbell, Darlington County’s director of elections.
Dwayne Duke received 112 votes, while incumbent Mayor Tommy Bradshaw collected 110, Campbell said. The previous runoff election two weeks ago ended in a tie with both men receiving 98 votes.
Campbell said Tuesday’s totals include absentees ballots. An automatic recount is needed if the results are within 1%. The results of the election are expected to be certified at 10 a.m. on Thursday.
Election officials in Society Hill told News13 that turnout on Tuesday was good, especially considering it’s the third time voters have gone to the polls in November.
Voters said they feel the energy and the history of it all. Officials said they expected 50% turnout of the nearly 400 registered voters, which would surpass the turnout for the last runoff.
In the quiet town of Society Hill, where the population isn’t even 500, the focus was on the one polling place in town.
“We’re a small town, but we’re still in Darlington County, and we’re still making history,” voter Allen Byrd said.
Campbell has been working elections for 35 years and said this was the first time he’s seen a second runoff.
“I’ve never heard of it in Darlington County,” he said.
“It is unique,” voter Brenda Goodman said before Tuesday’s results were announced. “It’s different but I think where we are at this point in time, everything is different. COVID has changed a lot. The way we move about and do this is a lot. That’s why we gotta have the right candidate to move about.”
A rare second runoff means a longer campaign for the candidates.
“It was work,” Duke said earlier on Tuesday. “I’m not going to say that it wasn’t work, but it was fun work because I got to meet people.”
“Well I hope today is the end,” Bradshaw said. “It is exciting that the day should be coming to an end and I’m sure Mr. Duke and I both are looking forward to that.”
Count on News13 for continued updates to this story.