Judge Larry Hyman ordered the South Carolina Election Commission to count all ballots cast for withdrawn Democratic candidate Ted Vick in the 7th Congressional District primary, thereby leading to a runoff election Tuesday between top vote-getters Gloria Tinubu and Preston Brittain. Election Commission Executive Director Marci Andino said the commission would abide by the court’s ruling and not appeal. The commission’s long-standing policy – in place since 2006 – stating votes for withdrawn candidates are not counted when it comes to determining majority vote in a primary was the focus of Hyman’s ruling. The policy stemmed from state law that said the majority is determined “by dividing the total votes cast for all candidates by two,” and that anything in excess of that sum is a majority. Without Vick’s 2,341 votes, Tinubu had 52 percent of all votes counted and was declared the winner of the June 12 primary.
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.
A candidate recently certified as the Democratic nominee in South Carolina’s new 7th congressional district wants to halt a lawsuit seeking to order her into a run-off. Gloria Bromell Tinubu said in papers filed Monday with the state Supreme Court that a temporary restraining order keeping election officials from recalibrating voting machines should be lifted. Two voters who support one of Bromell Tinubu’s Democratic opponents, Preston Brittain, have sued to try to force the two candidates into a run-off. State election officials certified Bromell Tinubu’s victory last week.
Election officials opted Friday not to order a runoff between the top two vote-getters in the Democratic race for South Carolina’s new 7th congressional district, although all sides acknowledged the issue would next play out in court. After 90 minutes of executive session but with no public debate, the state Election Commission voted to certify Coastal Carolina University professor Gloria Bromell Tinubu’s victory in Tuesday’s primary over Myrtle Beach attorney Preston Brittain. At issue was whether the commission would count the votes of state Rep. Ted Vick, who withdrew May 25 following an arrest for drunken driving, but remained on the ballot. Without Vick’s more than 2,300 votes, Bromell Tinubu won the four-way race outright, with 52 percent of the vote to Brittain’s 39 percent. But five names were on the ballot. Both the state Democratic Party and Brittain’s campaign had argued none of the five received a majority, thus necessitating a runoff or otherwise disenfranchising voters. The commission voted 3-2 not to count Vick’s votes.
South Carolina: South Carolina Election Commission to consider 7th District runoff | The Post and Courier
Election officials were set Friday to consider a runoff between the top two vote-getters in the Democratic race for South Carolina’s new 7th congressional district. Members of the state’s Election Commission are mulling if they will order the face-off between Coastal Carolina professor Gloria Bromell Tinubu and attorney Preston Brittain, who finished first and second, respectively, in Tuesday’s primary. At issue is whether to count the votes of state Rep. Ted Vick, who withdrew May 25 following an arrest for drunken driving, but remained on the ballot. Without Vick’s more than 2,300 votes, Bromell Tinubu won the four-way race outright, with 52 percent of the vote to Brittain’s 39 percent. But five names were on the ballot. Both the Democratic Party and Brittain’s campaign argue none of the five received a majority, so a runoff is necessary; otherwise, voters are being disenfranchised, they argue.
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.
“Clusterf—,” South Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Dick Harpootlian said, enunciating every profane syllable in his Southern-tinged baritone. “We’ve got more in common with a third-world, South American country than we do with the rest of the other 49 states. This is nuts,” he added. Venezuelan leader Hugo “Chávez would conduct a fairer, better election than the Republican South Carolina [State] Election Commission.” All of which is to say the South Carolina Democratic Party is not very happy with Tuesday’s Democratic primary election results in the state’s new 7th district. At first, the results appeared to indicate a Democratic primary runoff between long-shot candidate Gloria Bromell Tinubu, an economist, and establishment-backed attorney Preston Brittain, since neither received the more than 50 percent required to be declared the winner outright. But then, according to the Associated Press, the South Carolina State Election Commission disqualified the votes received by state Rep. Ted Vick (D) on the grounds that he had withdrawn from the race before primary day.
South Carolina: Democrats call for runoff between Tinubu, Brittain in 7th Congressional District Primary | SCNOW
The South Carolina Election Commission may think Glora Bromell Tinubu avoided a runoff with Preston Brittain, but the state’s Democratic Party isn’t so sure and they may take legal action to correct what they say is a mistake. According to results from the election commission, Tinubu secured 52 percent of the vote in Tuesday night’s primary contest against the 32 year old Horry County attorney, who was well behind her with 39 percent; however, state Rep. Ted Vick still appeared on ballots across the state even though he dropped out of the race at the end of May following his arrest in Columbia and still garnered over 2,300 voters — 8 percent — but instead of counting those ballots the commission simply discarded them. With Vick’s votes included, Tinubu only had 49 percent of the vote to Brittain’s 36, which would trigger a runoff between the two on June 26.