No Answer on How Ballots Were Overlooked


By Crandall Sims

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO) -- Once again Richland County Election Commission officials were back to the counting Thursday after an employee found 150 more ballots in a closet.

"These bags were in the secure election commission storage room," says Steve Hamm, Attorney for the Richland County Election Commission.

Hamm says the ballots, cased in SLED bags, were found Thursday morning in a storage room hours after the official count was thought to be over.

"We've discovered them, those votes are going to be counted and the decision of those particular voters will be reflected in the final votes certified by the commission tomorrow," says Hamm.

But how they were overlooked remains a bit of a mystery.

"I do not know the answer to that, I believe they were probably in this room and under some boxes. But, I don't know the answer to that, we're certainly going to inquire about that," says Hamm.

Thursday's finding is just one more inquiry for the Richland County Election Commission.

Long lines and broken machines sparked a weeklong court-system battle between the Democratic party and the Republican party, after questions were raised on when and by who the votes would be counted.

The State Supreme Court solved that problem Tuesday by ordering all ballots be counted by the Richland County Election commission by Noon Friday.

However, the main question in the Election Day debacle still hasn't been answered. Why were there not enough voting machines in precints? It's a question we may not have answers to for quite some time.

Hamm says the voting machine issue is something he intends to help get to the bottom of, but right now the main priority is counting the votes.

He says once the legal process is behind them, they will take a thorough look at the procedures they followed and what can be done in the future to make sure citizens are not confronted with this problem.
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