Supreme Court will hear arguments whether to allow a recount of Election Day voting in Richland County. Briefs are due to the high court by Tuesday.
At the same time, a group of voters, public officials and candidates is calling for an entirely new election in the county.
One of those is Richland County Council Republican candidate Michael Letts, who lost to Democratic councilman Jim Manning on Tuesday. Letts letter to commission.
Letts says it appears the county used fewer voting machines than required by law, and he thinks that affected the outcome of some races and ballot issues.
“I know that one polling place that I was at, literally hundreds of people left the line over a 12-hour period of time. You multiply that by 100 precincts, there’s easily a margin of error…that it could have changed the outcome, ” Letts told affiliate WVOC in Columbia.
One poll manager told South Carolina Radio network that he was stunned to find four machines instead of the normal 10-12 when he arrived at his Richland County polling site.
Letts also charges that many of the voting machine shortages occurred in areas where voters were likely to oppose a penny hike in the county sales tax. Letts campaigned against the additional tax.
He also claims that numerous machines malfunctioned or allegedly did not record votes properly, which he contends helped pass that tax hike.
Letts says, “We’re getting more and more reports from people. We had dysfunctional voting machines. They attempted to vote ‘no’ and the machine translated that vote and made it a ‘yes.’ If they didn’t catch it, it was recorded as a ‘yes’ vote. If it was caught, the poll manager had to go in time and time again to get it reset.”
Richland County elections officials have promised an investigation into how voting machines were distributed and why some malfunctioned.
Reported by David Waterman, WVOC