Officials Get to Work to Finish Counting Ballots

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By Crandall Sims

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO) -- Wednesday, Richland County officials resumed counting ballots after nearly a week long court system battle between the Democratic and Republican parties.

Officials started working around 1:00 o'clock Wednesday afternoon. Most of the day was spent testing the ballots and making sure they matched.

Eventually, officials were able to start counting the ballots, a process they hope is completed by 9:00 o'clock Wednesday. However, Richland County Election Commission Chairperson Liz Crum says they will stay until necessary.

It is important to note Wednesday's count was not a re-count. Instead officials resumed counting ballots they did not get to last Wednesday, after the state Democratic Party filed suit.

That lawsuit aksed for the ballots to be seized, placed into SLED custody and re-counted.

Richland County Judge Casey Manning, granted the request last week.

However, the Republican Party, in turn, filed suit with the South Carolina Supreme Court to stop the recount that was scheduled for last Friday.

The recount did get underway only to be stopped a little more than an hour later after the South Carolina Supreme Court stepped in.

Tuesday, the Democratic party dropped their suit. Party Chairman Dick Harpootlian told ABC Columbia News that after meeting with county election officials they believed the ballots would be counted in a professional matter.

The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday afternoon to have the ballots sent back to the county to be counted.

Richland County is the only county in South Carolina that has not been certified by the South Carolina Election Commission.

Officials have until noon Friday to finish tallying the votes in order for them to be certified by the state.

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