DILLON COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — A special election has been set to elect a new sheriff in Dillon County after the unexpected death of Sheriff Douglas Pernell, according to the county’s Elections and Voter Registration Office.

Pernell, who was elected sheriff in November 2020, died on Aug. 7 at home from disease, according to Dillon County Coroner Donnie Grimsley.

The filing period for the Oct. 17 primary election will run from noon on Aug. 25 until noon on Sept. 2, officials said. The filing fee is $944.13.  Early voting in the primary election will take place from Oct. 2-13.

Officials will meet at 9 a.m. on Oct. 19 to certify the results of the primary. If a runoff is needed, it would take place on Oct. 31, with early voting planned from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Oct. 25-27. Officials would meet at 9 a.m. on Nov. 2 to certify the results.

The general election is set for Dec. 19, with early voting taking place between Dec. 4-15. Officials will meet at 9 a.m. on Dec. 22 to certify the results. Early voting in the general election will be from Dec. 4-15.

Polls will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster has appointed Chief Deputy Jamie Hamilton to serve as interim sheriff until after the election.

Count on News13 for updates.

Taylor Ford is a digital journalist for News13. She joined the News13 team in January 2023. Taylor is a Florence native and covers the Pee Dee out of News13’s Florence Bureau. Read more of Taylor’s work here.