SC Election Commission: Partial Review Find No Evidence of 'Dead Voters'

4:33 PM, Feb 23, 2012   |    comments
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Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Officials with the South Carolina Election Commission said Thursday that a partial review of Department of Motor Vehicles records finds no evidence of deceased people voting.

The review was part of the ongoing debate over South Carolina's voter ID law, which the U.S. Justice Department has blocked.

Last month, DMV Executive Director Kevin Schwedo told House members that an analysis of voter ID data found 953 people who appeared to have voted after their death.

However, the State Election Commission now says a review of 207 of those cases--which all are from the 2010 general election--shows no evidence of fraud.

Instead,  the Election Commission found that the discrepancies were due to clerical errors, bad data matching, errors in assigning voter participation, or voters dying after being issued an absentee ballots.

There were 10 cases the commission says that they had insufficient records to make a determination.

The commission says they didn't review all 953 cases because of the size and the scope of examining every claim, which the agency says would have taken thousands of hours. The full list includes claims made in 74 elections dating back to 2005.

The agency has turned these latest findings over to the South Carolina Attorney General's office and the State Law Enforcement Division. Attorney General Alan Wilson has asked the U.S. Justice Department for an investigation.

Below is the more on the findings. All information below is exactly as it was written from the Election Commission.

  • 106 cases were the result of clerical errors by poll managers. 
  • 91 cases were name recognition errors such as marking the deceased John Doe, Sr. as voting when John Doe, Jr. actually voted
  • In 6 cases, the poll manager apparently began marking incorrect voter, realized mistake, but did not erase the original marks
  • In 5 cases, election officials marked the wrong voter as voting absentee
  • In 3 cases, election officials issued the absentee application in the wrong name
  • 56 cases were the result of bad data matching.  In these cases, it appears DMV used only the voter's social security number to match against the death file.  The voters' names and dates of birth in these cases do not match the names and dates of birth in the death file.  In these cases, there is no indication that the voter is deceased.
  • 32 cases were voter participation errors.  Voter registration lists marked by poll managers are scanned electronically to record voter participation in each election.  Stray marks on the lists and the sensitivity of the automatic scanner can lead to voters erroneously being given credit for voting in an election.  In all of these cases, there is no corroborative information on voter registration lists, poll lists, or absentee applications indicating the voter actually voted.
  • 3 cases were the result of absentee ballots being issued to a voter, who then died before Election Day.
  • 10 cases had insufficient information in the record to make a determination. In 7 cases, the signature on the poll list could not be matched to another voter. In 2 cases, the poll list is missing making it impossible to match the signature to another person. In 1 case, the signature on the poll list seems to match a voter in another precinct but could not be verified.

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