The courtroom drama over South Carolina’s primaries is not over. A judge will wade into the state’s elections again Thursday during a hearing over whether there should be a runoff for the Democratic nomination in the new 7th Congressional District. The dispute is affecting the Republican primary for the seat because election officials have been barred from sending out absentee voter ballots until the case is resolved. The runoff is scheduled for Tuesday.
The issue is whether to count the 2,341 votes cast for candidate Ted Vick, who pulled out of the Democratic primary in late May after he was arrested for driving under the influence in Columbia. The state Election Commission ruled last week after a 90-minute meeting behind closed doors that the votes shouldn’t count, which boosted Gloria Bromell Tinubu from 49 percent to 52 percent of the votes, giving her the majority she needed to avoid a runoff.
But two supporters of second-place finisher Preston Brittain sued, saying those votes should be considered in determining a majority. Brittain finished second with 37 percent of the votes if ballots cast for Vick are counted, or 39 percent if they aren’t.