In a count delayed a week, Kirkman Finlay appeared to prevail over Joe McCulloch, 7,207 to 6,891 in House District 75, in one of tightest and most closely watched races in Richland County’s botched Nov. 6 election, according to preliminary results from Wednesday’s tally. Finlay, a Republican, had 6,771 votes, and McCulloch, a Democrat, had 6,506 in the original count. Totals came just after 11 p.m. Wednesday – eight days after the election marked by huge outcries from voters and candidates alike and a tumultuous legal back-and-forth that led courts to interrupt Richland County’s vote before the count was complete last week.
… The Nov. 6 vote for the presidential race, State House, County Council and board of education races should have been tallied a week ago. But because of reasons still not fully explained, the Nov. 6 county elections procedures were thrown into disorder in numerous ways, including the fact that numerous paper ballots had somehow managed to be printed in a smaller-type format that could not be read by the voting scanning machines the county uses to tally votes.
Earlier Wednesday, officials went through some 15,000 paper absentee ballots, searching for the defective ballots with the smaller type size. Once those defective ballots were located, officials took them out and then slowly transferred by hand the choices marked on the defective paper ballots to ballots with the properly sized type.
Then the new paper ballots – apparently several hundred – were run through a scanning machines.