A decision on whether to count all votes cast in the Democratic primary for the newly created 7th Congressional district will not be made until Friday when state officials meet to certify results, a S.C. election official said Wednesday.
Gloria Bromell Tinubu, a Georgetown college professor, was declared the outright primary winner with 52.4 percent of the tally — enough of a margin to best four candidates and avoid a runoff with second-place finisher Preston Brittain, a Myrtle Beach attorney who received 39.4 percent of the vote.
But S.C. Democratic leaders believe that the state should not have excluded about 2,340 votes cast for state Rep. Ted Vick, whose name remained on the ballot despite withdrawing from the race last month after being charged with DUI.
Adding back the number of votes that Democrats say Vick received would put Tinubu with about 49 percent and push her into a runoff with Brittain, who received endorsements from many state party leaders including U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn. Vick’s votes were included in county returns, leading to confusion in news reports about the race. State election officials said they do not have an official tally of votes cast for Vick.
Democratic Party Chairman Dick Harpootlian said he is unaware of any precedent to not count votes for someone whose name was on the ballot — even if they dropped out of the race. “If 2,000 folks wrote in Ted Vicks’ name, they would be counted,” Harpootlian said. “This is the same thing. Those people voted.” Write-in votes are not allowed in primary races.