Is a special election worth it? - WCIV-TV | ABC News 4 - Charleston News, Sports, Weather

Is a special election worth it?

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by Stacy Jacobson

WASHINGTON (WCIV) -- South Carolina began a new era with Tim Scott as its senator Thursday. But what about his replacement?

South Carolina's 1st Congressional District seat became vacant with Scott's appointment to the Senate. Gov. Nikki Haley set the special election for May 7, but Charleston County Director of Elections Joseph Debney said the election will come with a price.

"It's going to be a considerable amount of money when it's all said and done," Debney said.

He said the election will cost Charleston County more than $100,000. The state will reimburse a small part of that, but taxpayers pay the rest. Debney said there was a better way.

"There is a bill in front of the House and Senate right now. This is a bill that's been coming up every year to have quarterly election dates," Debney said.

He said pre-set dates would make special elections more efficient and less confusing. He hoped it would boost voter turnout. He predicted that would be less than 5 percent in May.

"If we can get it moved to a specific quarter and promote it more on that date and have more people informed about that particular date, I think there's a possibility we could increase it," he said.

Sen. Scott said he knew people of the 1st District had a lot of choices for his replacement. But, he left the opinions to the voters.

"I think they'll make a good decision. Getting involved in another race while I have my own race to run in the next 15 months is not my objective," he said.

Candidates can register for the primary between noon on Jan. 18 and Jan. 28.

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