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Election Director: No Proof of Dead Voters

State election commission reveals findings of internal investigation

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 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 , but said it had not been given the full list of alleged fraudulent votes. 

The dispute comes amidst discussion of South Carolina's voter ID law, which was . Wilson's office .

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.

William Eib February 28, 2012 at 06:49 PM
JoSCh: But does it happen on a scale that a law to prevent it causes an other problem, one more unacceptible than the initial problem? Is it necessay to inadvertantly cause duress and potential loss of voting rights to some of the citizens of the USA, where due diligence at the polling stations could rectifiy the problem with voter fraud. Most of the fraud cases used to demonstrate the massive fraud the GOP suggests exists, the people involved did not get to vote. Everything in life has a flaw, but you don't react in a way that jeopadizes peoples lives and rights, A few fraudulent votes is less ergregous to me than one US Citizen denied the right to vote due to a technicality. Sad to say, these laws are not about voter fraud, they are about voter suppression, and if there is an honest GOPer out there involved with this legisaltion who would come forth and show me , why the bill exists when there is a miniscule number of voter fraud convictions. This is a dangerous political stunt, I see no other reason for it. It is overkill. You're nuking a house because someone saw a mouse in the kithchen, when a piece of cheese and a mouse trap would have sufficed.
stanley seigler February 28, 2012 at 07:00 PM
@JoSCh: Voter fraud does happen! INDEED IT DO!...but NOT type of voter fraud voter ID laws might serve to deter... [CLIP] "Perhaps the cruelest irony in all of this? Neither Prude’s nor Ali’s case would have been deterred by the polling place photo ID restriction laws now in effect. In fact, during the Bush administration’s unprecedented years-long attempt to prosecute “voter fraud” cases, they were unable to find a single case of in-person polling place impersonation — the only type of voter fraud such laws might serve to deter — across the entire nation." http://www.salon.com/2012/02/27/vote_fraud_retires_shameless_gop_official/singleton/ thanks fot the link...
William Eib February 28, 2012 at 07:01 PM
JoSCh: Also, yesterday there was a shooting at a High School in Ohio, a third student died today. There are people in our country, having seen the senseless gun related violence that occurs quite regularly. No need for research, the deaths of innocent people are adding up. It has been suggested that gun show dealers should ask for IDs and do background checks. This suggestion is met by an uproar from the same side of the aisle who feel a desperate need for Voter ID to prevent a negligable number of voter fraud case, but way too many deaths by guns does get a murmur. The same Constitution which contains voting and gun ownership rights, is ignored in one situation and hailed in another. One law is intended to stop nothing, the lack of another costs human lives. There is something really scary about the frame of mind of someone in power to be excited about Voter ID, and upset about the notion of saving lives. This is a disturbing point of view particularly from the party which professes a respect for the Constitution of the USA.
William Eib February 28, 2012 at 07:16 PM
Look, those of us that keep attempting to show people it is raining out, and they should get an umbrella. Are up against a societal affliction, where the warned will go outside, get soaking wet, come back in and tell we are dead wrong. These people are lost causes. They are entrapped in a bad psycholgical quicksand pit, and refuse to accept they are going to die if they don't get out. This passion for hate, anger, negativity and pessimism, which is quite recognizable by the very ripostes they submit. Typically filled with, insults, slogans, misrepresented info, or no substance what so ever, to explain their anger, hatred, lack of back up to the slogans and talking points constantly parroted over and over, each using the exact same wording and misinformation. If the intention is to have a dialogue, with ideas shared and a pursuasive debate, it will not be found with these folks. They are so unhappy, angry, filled with bitterness, and pessimism, they are incapable of letting down their guard to take a shot at knowing what they are talking about. It's a personality disorder and has been spresading like a virus ever since the Teahadist Party raised it's ill informed , angry, negative, nativist, pessimistic, anti rights head and unleased the sadness in people.
reg February 28, 2012 at 09:03 PM
Don't forget, William - the Tea Party was created by GOP folks in order to rein in particular voters they were losing. If they couldn't keep them in as registered GOP, they thought to create a new group, and to make them anti-progress. Same age range/income group/educational status/race/occupational fields - most of which had stopped voting in GOP primaries or who had switched party registration from Repub to independent. Since they couldn't keep them on their side, the GOP thought to mislead them with false information to at least get them to be against the other side. It's backfired on them in a few spots, though, mostly Florida. The GOP did the same thing back in '71, when those Republican congressmen created the Libertarian Party to keep hold of young college grads who were upset w/ the war.

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