Election Commission Refutes Dead Voter Claim
Dead voters may not have voted after all
Apparently, dead men aren't actually voting.
The South Carolina Election Commission on Wednesday disputed claims that more than 900 dead voters cast ballots during the 2010 election.
Election Commission Director Marci Andino testified before the House Election Laws Subcommittee that her staff had confirmed a small sample of the dead voter claims to be false.
DMV Director Kevin Shwedo initially made the claim about the dead voters in early January, and South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson then ordered an investigation.
Andino said the Election Commission received the names of six suspected dead voters in Abbeville County and confirmed that, in fact, none of the voters had cast a post-mortem ballot.
- One of the voters cast an absentee ballot before dying
- One voter, Samuel Ferguson Jr., was mistakenly marked as his deceased father, Samuel Ferguson III
- Two of the voters were the result of stray marks on the voter registration list
- Two of the voters were the result of poll managers incorrectly marking the the name of the dead voter instead of the name above it or below it on the list
"Charges of voter fraud are serious," Andino said in a release. "If even one fraudulent vote has been cast, that is one too many."
The Election Commission was not provided with the full list of suspected dead voters, so they could not confirm information about the other voters in question.
A spokesman for the Attorney General's office said no conclusions should be drawn about the small sample of suspected dead voters Andino examined.
"Andino is not operating off of the same list (950+ voters) that was given to SLED for investigation," Communications Director Mark Plowden said in an email to Patch. "Until SLED has completed its work, no one will know anything. It is incredibly premature to take a list of six random voters from a single county and proclaim the case is closed."
However, while Andino did not have access to the full list of suspected dead voters, the election commission confirmed that the few names they were provided came directly from the list provided to SLED.
Because of the claims, the election commission also investigated whether any of the 37,000 deceased voters listed in the DMVs database had requested absentee ballots for the 2012 South Carolina Primary.
They found that 10 of those voters had requested ballots, but confirmed that none of the voters in question were actually dead.
The allegations have resulted in further discussion of South Carolina's Voter ID law, which passed in 2011, but was rejected by the Justice Department in December.
Wilson's office announced in early January that it would appeal the decision.