The director of the South Carolina Election Commission released a report Wednesday refuting claims that more than 200 dead voters participated during the 2010 election.
Election Commission Executive Director Marci Andino said that 197 of the cases her agency investigated appeared to be results of human error or coincidence and not cases of voter fraud. The other ten cases proved inconclusive.
In a letter to South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson, Andino said her agency spent more than 200 hours examining suspected cases of voter fraud from the 2010 general election.
"Due to the size and scope of the task of examining every claim, the review was limited to the 207 cases related to the 2010 General Election," Andino said. "Investigation of every claim would require more than 1,000 hours of work by SEC employees."
More than half of the Election Commission's 15 employees spent the past four weeks gathering information and determining where errors were made, Andino said.
The findings showed:
- 106 cases resulted from clerical errors by poll managers
- 56 cases resulted from bad data matching by the DMV to death records
- 32 cases resulted from voter participation errors, when stray marks caused it to appear that dead voters had cast ballots when they hadn't
- 3 cases were absentee ballots of voters who died before election day
- 10 cases proved inconclusive
"The investigation of these claims has been very costly to the Agency in both time and resources," Andino said. "Continuation of the investigation beyond the 2010 General Election would have a negative impact on existing Agency responsibilities."
Andino said her agency turned its findings over to the State Law Enforcement Division and said it would only continue the investigation if SLED or the attorney general's office found cause.
One South Carolina democratic group called on Wilson to end the investigation.
"We call on Mr. Wilson, the Haley administration, and the South Carolina Republican Party to stop deceiving and scaring voters with bogus claims of fraud and to get to work on the issues that are real," SC Forward Progress spokesman Tyler Jones said in a statement.
The controversy began in January when DMV Director Kevin Shwedo alerted Wilson of his findings, which suggested more than 900 dead voters had participated during elections since 2005.
Election officials then announced that it had disproved the initial claims of dead voters casting ballots, but said it had not been given the full list of alleged fraudulent votes.
Many Republicans say the voter ID law would reduce voter fraud and ensure a fair election process while some Democrats argue that it would make it more difficult for minorities and poor citizens to cast ballots.