Republicans and Democrats don’t agree on much in South Carolina, but the leaders of both parties said this year’s elections were a mess. More than 200 candidates were kicked off the June primary ballot because of paperwork problems. Voters waited four hours or more to vote Tuesday in one of the state’s largest counties, and there was an unprecedented seizure of votes. The way people are elected was in the news more than the politicians themselves. “Both parties have spent more money, more time and more effort in court than we have on the political side. It’s been exasperating,” said South Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Dick Harpootlian.
State Republican Party Chairman Chad Connelly called this year’s election season in South Carolina “the most bizarre and confusing processes we have ever seen.”
And it isn’t over yet. Richland County’s votes were being recounted Friday at the State Election Commission on a judge’s order when the state Supreme Court halted the process. The county’s election results will be in limbo at least until Tuesday, when that judge holds a hearing on a lawsuit filed by Democrats asking the votes not be certified because of irregularities.
Among the irregularities was a dump of 267 absentee votes, each one for Republican state House candidate Kirkland Finlay. Finlay ended up with a 265-vote lead over his Democratic opponent.
Richland County voters also faced waits of four hours or more, even though the county’s 61.6 percent turnout was the second-lowest of any county in the state. Election officials sent out less than 800 voting machines to precincts, leaving more than 100 machines behind on Tuesday.
Greenville County, which has only about 40,000 more registered voters, sent out more than 1,000 machines and kept behind only about two-dozen for testing or absentee votes, said county Director for Elections Conway Belangia.
Richland County officials have not explained why so many machines went unused on Election Day.
Full Article: Republicans, Democrats agree: SC elections a mess – SFGate.