South Carolina

Articles about voting issues in South Carolina.

South Carolina: Lt. Gov. Kevin Bryant calls for voters to register by party affiliation | Greenville News

South Carolina Lt. Gov. Kevin Bryant called Monday for changing voter-registration rules to protect the “integrity” of the state’s elections.

Bryant, a pharmacist from Anderson who is running for governor, wants South Carolina voters to register by party affiliation. Under his proposal, voters then would be restricted to casting ballots in their identified party’s primary.

Primaries in the state have been open to all voters for decades. The state’s voter-registration laws do not include any party-affiliation requirement.

Bryant said that 60,000 voters who cast ballots in South Carolina’s 2016 Democratic Party presidential primary took part months later in the Republican primary for state elections.

“I have no business voting in a Democratic primary. I am a Republican,” Bryant said during a speech to members of the Greenville Chamber of Commerce.

The change that he is seeking is part of a seven-point campaign platform that Bryant describes as a “Contract with South Carolina.” He discussed several of the ideas during his appearance Monday.

Full Article: South Carolina voters should register by party, Kevin Bryant says.

South Carolina: State continues work to safeguard your vote from cyber hackers | The State

When S.C. voters whittle down the list of who will become their next governor on June 12, election officials want to ensure their voting information is protected from attacks – including Russian hackers. State election officials are asking the Legislature to give their agency $250,000 in added money so they can make any needed changes to the state’s voter registration system and its network if voter information is compromised. “Security has always been important to us,” said spokesman Chris Whitmire of the S.C. Election Commission, which is asking for a total of $24.9 million in the state budget that starts July 1. “But, certainly, things changed in 2016 with the emerging threats that were out there.”

In 2016, Russian hackers tried to gain access to millions of the country’s voter registration records.

In South Carolina, election officials told lawmakers that on Election Day there were 150,000 attempts to gain access into the state’s voting system, which secures information on roughly 3.2 million registered voters.

Those attempts did not just come from hackers, Whitmire said. Some of the attempts could have been from bots, researchers and private companies looking to make money off the state by catching gaps in its voting system, elections officials have been told.

Full Article: SC continues work to safeguard your vote from cyber hackers | The State.

South Carolina: South Carolina election agency can withhold cybersecurity documents, attorney general’s office says | Post and Courier

Amid intensified focus on election cybersecurity, South Carolina’s top government lawyers have advised the state’s election agency that it does not need to publicly release documents about how it is protecting voting systems. Citing a “significant increase” in open records requests about cybersecurity, State Election Commission Director Marci Andino requested an opinion from Attorney General Alan Wilson’s office about whether cybersecurity matters fall under an exception to the law that excludes information relating to “security plans and devices.” Assistant Attorney General Matthew Houck responded in an opinion that a court likely would find that the security plans exemption would apply to cybersecurity infrastructure, allowing the agency to withhold documents about the state’s protection systems. Read More

South Carolina: Voters’ group getting head start on redistricting | SCNow

Voters should choose their representatives, not the other way around, according to a voter education group. This seems to be the rally cry of the League of Women’s Voters of South Carolina, whose local members held an information meeting last Thursday at the Hartsville Memorial Library. The meeting went over the age-old problem of gerrymandering, where elected officials attempt to keep voting districts favorable to one side of party affiliation or the other. “Representative of both major political parties seek partisan advantage from gerrymandering,” said information from the meeting. “This is not a problem associated with one or another political party. Incumbent protection has also shaped South Carolina’s districts.” Read More

South Carolina: Voting machines seeing more problems with age | Go Upstate

Although elections officials say they’re seeing more failures with their 13-year-old touch-screen voting machines, it could be years before voters get to cast ballots on a new statewide system that’s estimated to cost at least $40 million. “South Carolina has been using the current system since 2004, and it’s reaching the end of its useful life,” said Chris Whitmire, a spokesman for the state Election Commission. “We are seeing more issues with machines, the most common of which is touchscreen failure.” He added: “While no votes are lost when that happens — and we can handle isolated failures — we have to take steps to ensure the viability of the system in the years to come.” Read More

South Carolina: Watchdogs want full report cards on election weaknesses | The State

State election officials say that despite millions of cyber attempts to gain access to South Carolina’s voter registration system in the past year, no one has succeeded. But two election watchdogs complain that problems have been discovered and they want to be shown evidence of their severity. … Initial assessments by the S.C. National Guard’s Military Department Defense Cyber Operations and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security done in the wake of the Russian hacking of the presidential election found weaknesses in all county offices and at the state elections agency. The elections agency later hired the Charleston-based cybersecurity firm Soteria to plug the holes. But a USC computer science professor and a Lowcountry elections watchdog want to see the full assessments for themselves. “Every single county has at least a critical or high vulnerability,” said University of South Carolina computer science professor and elections analyst Duncan Buell. “They were not doing the no-brainer things for election security.” The Homeland Security assessment found the same level of vulnerability in servers used by the state agency, he said. Read More

South Carolina: Voter registration system hit by nearly 150,000 hack attempts on Election Day | International Business Times

South Carolina’s voter registration system was reportedly hit by almost 150,000 hack attempts on Election Day 2016. According to a post-election report by the South Carolina State Election Commission, it is likely that most of the hacking attempts came from automated computer bots, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday (16 July). President Donald Trump comfortably won the state of South Carolina in the November election. However, WSJ reports that there is no evidence to suggest that the attempted cyberattacks targeting the state’s voter registration system were successful. Read More

South Carolina: Nearly 150,000 attempts to hack South Carolina voter registration system on Election Day: report | The Hill

Hackers tried to infiltrate South Carolina’s voter registration system nearly 150,000 times on Election Day 2016, according to a South Carolina State Election Commission report that was reported on by The Wall Street Journal. South Carolina, which President Trump won easily during the election, did not find evidence that would suggest the attempted breaches were successful, the paper reported. The publication said most of the hacking attempts in South Carolina likely came from automated computer bots. Read More

South Carolina: State Election Commission is looking for cybersecurity help | Post and Courier

Election officials say South Carolina was not one of the 21 states targeted by cyberattacks before last year’s vote — but they’re moving quickly to find help shoring up their defenses. The State Election Commission is seeking proposals this week for a cybersecurity contractor to identify threats, look for holes in the state’s security and find ways to patch them. Agency spokesman Chris Whitmire said the commission is trying to replace an emergency contract it signed last year as concerns of foreign meddling in the presidential election spread across the country. Read More

South Carolina: Election Commission seeks more money for onslaught of special elections | The State

Faced with paying to replace five elected officials, and eying a State House corruption probe that could kick out more, the S.C. State Election Commission has decided it needs more cash. The office that runs S.C. elections is seeking permission from state lawmakers to dip into two pots of state money — roughly $255,000 — left over from other election programs. The rare request comes because of concerns about the volume of special elections the commission must bankroll this year. “You never know how many you’re going to have,” Election Commission spokesman Chris Whitmire said. “Someone could die. Someone could be convicted or resign. That’s out of our control. Read More