Many residents long believed to live in Horry County — who actually reside in neighboring Georgetown County — voted in favor of annexing into Horry, according to unofficial election results.
A referendum was held Tuesday to address an error in the border between Horry and Georgetown counties, with 146 voting in favor of the annexation and six people voting against it.
“I’m really excited for the residents because this is what they wanted,” S.C. Rep. Russell Fry said.
For several years, Horry and Georgetown counties have recognized a border that is different from the official one as enacted in statute, officials said. Because of this, around 200 parcels of land that were believed to be in Horry County are actually in Georgetown County. The state’s Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Office discovered the error last year.
Fry said that before Tuesday’s referendum he had heard from various community members that they wished to remain Horry County residents. He pointed out the issue could result in several changes for the few hundred affected.
“Everything from taxes to voting to schools to utilities to where their deed is registered,” Fry said. “It would have been a very large mess to transfer everything officially to Georgetown [County].”
He along with state Sen. Stephen Goldfinch and Rep. Lee Hewitt sponsored the legislation to enable the referendum, and Gov. Henry McMaster issued an order for the referendum to coincide with Tuesday’s general election.
Fry said he was pleased with the voter turnout. He added there was some concern about a possible low turnout or potential confusion regarding the ballot question.
“Fortunately none of that happened,” he said.
The state must approve the annexation petition for the process to take place. Election results were scheduled to be certified Thursday after press deadlines.