A review by the U.S. Dept. of Justice, required by the Voting Rights Act, overturned that law in December, however, on basis the law would unfairly affect rural, disabled, elderly and minority voters.
The state quickly began its challenge to that overturn, though, claiming the restrictions this Voter ID law imposed were necessary. And as proof, State Atty. Gen. Alan Wilson stated records were found that indicate 900 deceased voters had their votes counted in recent elections.
Today, however, those claims by Wilson and his state Dept. of Motor Vehicles source were found to be rather dead themselves.
At a hearing before the House Election Laws Subcommittee, the State Election Committee revealed only six incidents of dead voter claims provided by the Atty. Gen.’s office. Sinking the argument further, not one of the incidents supported Wilson’s claims, according to data provided by SEC Exec. Director Marci Anderson.
In a press release, SEC offered the following review of those six incidents discussed in testimony this morning:
- "One was an absentee ballot cast by a voter who then died before election day;
- Another was the result of an error by a poll worker who mistakenly marked the voter as Samuel Ferguson, Jr. when the voter was in fact Samuel Ferguson, III;
- Two were the result of stray marks on the voter registration list detected by the scanner – again, a clerical error;
- The final two were the result of poll managers incorrectly marking the name of the voter in question instead of the voter listed either above or below on the list."
The particular elections in which these votes were cast weren’t specified.
The SEC also searched for votes cast by dead voters in the recent presidential primary, Andino stated. From a list of 37,000 names the DMV said are deceased voters, only 10 were found to have participated in that January 21 election.
In immediate follow-up by the SEC, “each of these 10 voters (was) confirmed to be alive,” the state office’s press release reads. Their signatures from the voting registry that day were confirmed to be valid, too.
Had South Carolina’s Voter ID law remained in effect, over 239,000 registered voters would be denied their right to vote in this year’s elections.