Today, the Richland County Election Commission will recommence the vote count that got interrupted by a state court order. In a new ruling, the S.C. Supreme Court Tuesday ordered the county to count all votes cast in the 2012 General Election and to certify the results of the election by noon on Friday, November 16.
In the midst of the initial count, the party urged a circuit court to step in when “Richland County was obviously not doing something correctly,” says spokeswoman Amanda Loveday.
According to county election staff, during the initial canvassing process following the election, the RCEC became concerned that there could be issues with the tabulation of optical scan paper ballots. They called in the scanner company to help correct the problem onsite.
State Democrats have now taken back the action that led to that first court order.
The state GOP challenged that action, and the Supreme Court agreed, ruling the circuit court had no jurisdiction in this case.
State GOP Director Matt Moore says, “The losers are the voters in Richland County who have endured this horrific process. What’s most important for us is that the law is upheld in the way the ballots are counted.”
Loveday says the Democrats have also worked with the state and county election officials “to make sure the right experts are in the room.”
A state elections official says the county may start over, but it’s not technically a recount since they never finished counting in the first place.
Tuesday, Richland County voters reported problems with broken machines and too few machines at busy polling places. In some parts of the county, citizens waited more than six hours to vote.
The state GOP says it still wants some answers.
Democratic party leaders say they will leave it to their Democrat majority Richland County legislative delegation to handle the county commission it appointed.