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South Carolina


South Carolina Attorney General Asked for Opinion on Emergency Ballots PDF  | Print |  Email
South Carolina
By SC Progressive Network   
October 17, 2008
At the urging of the SC Progressive Network, state legislators have requested that SC Attorney General Henry McMaster issue an opinion on the state statute regulating emergency ballots at polling places.

"After the failure of many of the voting computers in Horry County during the January 19, 2008 Republican presidential primary, where many voters were turned away from the polls, we found that no law requires precincts to have emergency paper ballots," said Network Director Brett Bursey. Horry County election official Lisa Bourcier reported that "80-90 percent" of the county's more than 300 machines malfunctioned. Voters in many of the county's 118 precincts were told to come back later, on a cold and rainy day, because emergency paper ballots ran out shortly after the polls opened and the machines failed to operate.

Rep. Tracy Edge, a McCain campaign official, reported that his mother-in-law was only the 12th person to vote in her precinct, and that she was given a blank piece of paper because they didn't have emergency ballots. State Election Commission spokesperson Chris Whitmire was widely quoted as telling people to vote on "paper towels" if necessary.
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South Carolina: The Next Florida PDF  | Print |  Email
South Carolina
By Marie Cocco, Washington Posty   
January 24, 2008
Election Day began with voting machines refusing to start up. It ended with them refusing to shut down.

“It was a very stressful day,” says Sandy Martin, director of registration and elections in Horry County, S.C.

She still doesn’t know the precise reasons her county’s computerized, touch-screen machines balked at starting up last Saturday as the polls opened for the state’s Republican primary. Some voters who showed up early complained they were turned away from polling places, and about 6,000 votes wound up being cast on paper—some on printed ballots, others on any piece of paper a poll worker could find. The leading theory for the starting-up problem is that election workers who prepared the equipment failed to run a final procedure meant to set the computers’ vote counters to zero.

More evident, Martin says, is that the machines refused to close down at the end of the day because of a programming error. Because South Carolina’s Democratic primary is not being held until this Saturday, the computers were programmed to shut themselves down on Jan. 26—not at the end of Republican balloting on Jan. 19. “We had to go into the election menu and tell it to close manually,” Martin told me. Neither glitch affected the vote count, she says.

Still, Horry County has earned itself a minor footnote to presidential electoral history. It is another tale of voting machine failure that causes confusion and anger, marring what should be a gratifying civic exercise in which every eligible voter is allowed to cast a ballot—and is assured that every ballot is properly counted. After the debacle of the 2000 presidential election in Florida, we were supposed to end all this. We haven’t.

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South Carolina Voting Machine Failure Underscores Need For Swift Federal Action for Voting Security PDF  | Print |  Email
South Carolina
By Common Cause   
January 22, 2008
Problems with electronic voting machines in today’s Republican South Carolina presidential primary and reports that voters were being turned away from the polls as a result of those problems underscore the need for Congress to move swiftly to provide states with funding to have emergency paper ballots on hand in the event of a machine failure and to replace paperless voting systems so that meaningful recounts and audits can occur.

“Voters are understandably outraged that in this important primary election they could not exercise their right to vote because of the machine malfunctions,” said Bob Edgar, president of Common Cause. “This was a preventable and foreseeable crisis. Congress and state election officials must move fast to fix this problem by the general election in November.”

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South Carolina Primary Will Use Paperless E-voting PDF  | Print |  Email
South Carolina
By Sean Flaherty, Iowans for Voting Integrity   
November 18, 2007
The 2008 Presidential election may hinge on a primary in which the votes are recorded and tabulated exclusively by paperless electronic voting machines.

South Carolina's primary will be pivotal in the nominating process of both major parties. South Carolina uses a paperless touch screen system statewide, the ES&S iVotronic. It is apparent from the state Election Code that this is the system used for primary elections (section 7-13-1900).

Paperless e-voting is reckless in any right, but the iVotronic has managed to become notorious on its own terms.

It is the machine of Sarasota 2006 fame, producing 18,000 undervotes in Florida's 13th Congressional District, as well as high undervotes in other races in six Florida counties that used the machines. It is the same machine whose firmware version 8.0.1.2 was described by Princeton University computer scientist Edward Felten as "terribly insecure" and in need of serious improvements before it used in another election.
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South Carolina: Computer Errors Means 4 Polling Sites to Stay Open Longer PDF  | Print |  Email
South Carolina
By Katrina Goggins, Associated Press   
November 07, 2006

Voting Equipment: ES&S iVotronic touchscreen voting machines

Voters got an extra hour to vote in four precincts in South Carolina's 5th Congressional District on Tuesday because of glitches with the electronic voting machines, a judge ruled.

Voters complained through a toll-free hot line that machines were inoperative for about 90 minutes when polls opened at those majority black precincts in Lancaster County, said state Democratic Party spokesman Patrick Norton.

The party sued and asked a Circuit Court judge to intervene, he said. All the precincts were in South Carolina House District 45. The state Republican Party said it had no plans to appeal.

 

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South Carolina: A Sad Day For One Southern Town PDF  | Print |  Email
South Carolina
By John Gideon, Information Manager VotersUnite.Org and VoteTrustUSA.Org   
November 16, 2005
November 15 was the last time that the once sleepy little southern town of Bluffton, South Carolina will vote using paper ballots. The citizens of Bluffton have always gone to the polls in the only polling place they needed; Town Hall. It has been a long-standing tradition that at the end of the day, when the polls closed, the citizens of the town would gather in the hall and watch as the votes are counted.
 

Each vote is marked with a slash mark on a chalk board and audience members call out “tally” each time a group of five votes is recorded.
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