Following an election highlighted by long lines at the polls and reports of broken voting machines, programming errors and machines that switched votes for some candidates, voting rights advocates have renewed calls for the state Legislature to replace South Carolina’s aging voting machines. The state’s 13,000 voting machines have been in use since 2004 and use pre-2004 technology. South Carolina is one of five states that still uses machines that directly record votes without providing a paper trail to follow in the case of disputed elections or investigations of vote tampering. And in an election in which voters in Richland and York counties reported their votes being switched after they’d made a selection, the ACLU of South Carolina and the South Carolina Progressive Network have once again called on lawmakers to upgrade the system.
“Long wait-times, voting machines failing, voting machines changing votes — this is not what democracy looks like, and the citizens of South Carolina deserve better,” Shaundra Young Scott, Executive Director of the ACLU of South Carolina, said in a statement. “This might not be the typical type of voter suppression we see in other parts of the country, but it’s suppression nonetheless.”
Without action, the state stands to lose the confidence of voters, the ACLU said.