An audit of electronic voting records by South Carolina election officials did not include local files, Orangeburg County Voter Registration Director Howard Jackson says. “The state sent our office a software program to extract data from the (November 2010) general election,” Jackson said. “When we installed it, it crashed the whole computer system.
“We now have a new system in place but that data is gone. We usually catalog and save data soon after an election but we ran into problems involving the special election for (Orangeburg County) sheriff.”
Following the November 2010 election, the Election Commission determined several counties certified inaccurate election results. As a result, it conducted audits of all 46 counties’ results beginning in January. Federal law mandates voting records must be stored for 22 months. Jackson said he provided state officials with paper tapes taken from the voting machines used in each precinct in the election.
S.C. Election Commission spokesman Chris Whitmire said the audit showed if any errors were made, their cause and development of processes and procedures to prevent future certification errors.
He noted the discrepancies would not have changed the outcome of any race. “In Orangeburg County’s case, we have been able to analyze the election results,” Whitmire said. “We can’t do data comparison because different electronic files on each voting machine tell every action taken on it, including an image that’s made of each individual ballot.”
Lancaster County also did not provide electronic voting data due to problems associated with trying to integrate two voting databases. Whitmire said officials haven’t yet reviewed their findings for Bamberg and Calhoun counties.
The audit determined the two major types of errors were failure to include the results from all voting machines and human error manually entering vote totals.
Richland County was found to have among the most miscounted ballots.
An independent audit of the general election was first conducted by the South Carolina League of Women Voters. Businessman Frank Heindel of Mt. Pleasant participated in the research along with two computer science professors from the University of South Carolina and Clemson University.
Full Article: County voting records absent in state audit.