South Carolina State Election Commission utilizes the outside vendor Clear Ballot to conduct audits of ballots after elections. I submitted a FOIA request for all correspondence between the above-mentioned counties and Clear Ballot, in addition to all files and/or documents sent to Clear Ballot following the June 14, 2022 and November 8, 2022 elections.

Surprisingly, or not, depending on how deeply you’ve delved into these issues, we received the following response from York County:

Wait. Did they just say I am not entitled to Cast Vote Records? But I didn’t ask for Cast Vote Records. I just asked for whatever items they send to Clear Ballot…Reading this another way, a private company is entitled to review our voted ballots, but the citizens of South Carolina, whose tax dollars pay for this service, are not. Let that sink in.

Just one other comment.

York County states that according to SC Code of Laws 30-4-40(a)(4), the public is exempted from disclosure “matters specifically exempted from disclosure by statute or law” and that disclosure of such records compromises the right to a secret ballot as preserved by Article II, Section 1, of the SC Constitution. This conveniently omits the second half of Article II, Section 1 of the SC Constitution. Here it is in its entirety: All elections by the people shall be by secret ballot, but the ballots shall not be counted in secret. And lest you think this delves into the realm of philosophical debate (yes, I’ve been told this), Article I, Section 23 states: “The provisions of the Constitution shall be taken, deemed, and construed to be mandatory and prohibitory, and not merely directory, except where expressly made directory or permissory by its own terms.”

What do you think? Should the citizens of South Carolina have the right to review this information? AZ Legislature just passed a joint resolution stating their citizens should.