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You can get an advance look at who will be on your ballot before you go to the polls. Unfortunatley, it's a two step process.
First, look up your voter registration information and make note of your precinct code, county council seat, and school district number -- and, while you're there, make note of your polling location.
Got it? Great. Now hop over to the Charleston, Berkeley, or Dorchester county page of sample ballots and select the appropriate sample ballot, and voila: You're now prepared to research your candidates.
The best way, I find, is to search Google news for reporting on the candidates.
Good luck, and be sure to check out our election page for more local information.
Oh, and if you've never used one of the touch-screen voting machines before: It's really simple, but the state has a guide here.