SC Election Commission: No evidence dead people voted

COLUMBIA — A South Carolina Election Commission review of allegations that fraudulent votes were cast using the names of dead people found no evidence that any such ballots were cast, officials reported Thursday.

The commission reviewed information provided by the state Department of Motor Vehicles and found clerical errors, poor data matching, errors in assigning voter participation and voters dying after being issued an absentee ballot as reasons for the confusion, Executive Director Marci Andino said Thursday.

She said 197 out of 953 suspect cases were reviewed in detail.

Earlier this year, DMV Executive Director Kevin Shwedo told House members an analysis of voter ID data found 953 people who appeared to have voted after their death.

“We are relieved to find that in more than 95 percent of the cases we examined, there is no indication that votes were cast fraudulently,” Andino said in a news release. “Even so, if even one illegal vote has been cast, that is one too many.”

Another 10 cases were also studied, but the records in those cases were insufficient to make a determination, the commission said.

The results of the review have been passed on to Attorney General Alan Wilson’s office and to the State Law Enforcement Division. Both are continuing to examine all the information in the matter, Andino said.

The review has been part of an ongoing debate over the state’s Voter ID law, which has been blocked by the U.S. Justice Department.

The law would require voters to show government-issued photo identification to vote in person. A driver’s license is one of the types of identification allowed under the pending legislation.

DMV director Shwedo, asked to comment on the commission’s report, said it was inappropriate for him to say anything until the Attorney General’s and SLED investigations are complete.

Because of the time required to examine every claim, some of which involved 74 separate elections dating back to 2005, the review was limited to 207 cases from the 2010 general election, Andino said.

The commission said the review of 197 cases found: 106 cases of clerical errors by poll managers; 56 cases were the result of poor matching of voter’s social security numbers, names, and dates of birth; 32 cases involved errors involving electronic scanners; and three cases were the result of absentee ballots being issued to a voter who died before election day.

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