Local media has covered a lot of stories about problems people experienced while trying to vote in Richland County. Extremely long lines in some polling places are in question. State law states that there is to be (as close as possible) one machine for every 250 persons registered in a precinct. In one case, a precinct that should have had 19 machines only had 10, with one of those broken. (wistv.com/story/20035057/what-happened-with-the-polls-in-richland-county). There are more complaints in areas across Richland County.
Some people may have not been able to vote, due to the long wait times.
In one particularly close local race, the state Democratic party asked for a recount. A circuit court judge agreed, and furthermore ruled that all ballots across Richland County be recounted. The Republican party appealed the decision and the recount has been cancelled until a hearing on the matter can be heard.
According to an article onWLTX, “SCGOP Party Chair Chad Connelly believes the Democrats only want to recount to try and overturn the results of the race for House District 75.” (wltx.com/news/article/208351/2/State-Supreme-Court-Halts-Recount-of-Votes) Democrats and Republicans just have to squabble, as I wrote about over two years ago. http://carolinafinds.com/blog/83/.
Meanwhile, one group plans to hold a press conference to present their reasons as to why they feel the Richland County elections should be redone, one of those reasons being the large number of people who were unable to cast their ballots because of voting machine issues. Another reason was that, according to some people against the penny sales tax, voting machine shortages were in areas most likely to vote against the tax increase. (wistv.com/story/20055474/group-to-call-for-re-do-in-richland-co-election)
Here’s my opinion on it:
1. If Democrats feel something wasn’t right about a race, why wouldn’t they challenge it, and if all is as it should be, why would Republicans not want the votes recounted? Just hold the recount and resolve the issue and be done with it.
2. If it can be verified that precincts likely to vote against the penny sales tax increase were the only one’s to have voting machine shortages, it does look suspicious. Certainly it could still be coincidence but it would look odd all the same.
It’s going to be interesting to see how this all plays out, and I’ll update when more information is available.
What a mess!