[image-1] Polls are open until 7 p.m. today for Tuesday’s primary elections for county, statewide and federal offices. But with sky-high mail-in voting numbers and coming off a record day for COVID-19 infection in South Carolina, it is unknown how many voters will walk into polls today. For those who do, officials have a few requests.

The latest state updates show more than 18,000 absentee ballots have already been returned in Charleston County. Absentee numbers in Charleston far and away the highest total of any county in the state, smashing general election records set in 2016 when 16,000 ballots were cast absentee. Another 5,000 ballots have been issued, and with typical return rates over 90 percent, thousands more will likely be returned today. Officials and party leaders have encouraged voters to vote absentee to avoid potential coronavirus exposure.

What you need to know:
– For a full breakdown of the major races, read our June 3 election guide.
Full candidate questionnaires
Charleston City Paper‘s endorsements for the June 9 primaries

Note that several polling places have been changed because original locations asked not to be used due to COVID-19. State health officials tallied 542 new cases of the disease on Monday, a single-day high since the pandemic began.

State elections officials are asking those who go vote to wear a mask if possible, bring your own pen (and of course photo ID) and practice social distancing. Poll workers will be practicing safety protocols.

Charleston voters with absentee ballots that have not returned them can drop them off in person at election headquarters until 7 p.m. (4367 Headquarters Road, North Charleston).

Today’s election is a primary election to select nominees for the general election. Voters can cast a ballot for the party candidates of their choice, South Carolina has open primaries and voters do not register by party. If you have voted in a party primary before, you do not have to vote for the same party’s candidates today. [content-4] Depending on where you live and which party you vote for, you could be deciding nominees for Charleston County Council, state House and Senate, as well as the U.S. House and Senate. Major contested races include the 1st Congressional District Republican primary, House District 115 (James/Folly/Kiawah/Seabrook islands), county coroner, and county council districts 3 (East Cooper, N. Chs.) and 6 (West Ashley).

Candidates must earn 50 percent support before being declared the party’s nominee. If a candidate fails reaches 50 percent in any election today, a runoff between the top two vote-getters will be held in two weeks.