Many issues with South Carolina elections are due to human error. Other significant ones could be due to interference with computer systems, but because of South Carolina’s current closed policy on Cast Vote Records (CVRs) – more on this later – there is zero transparency in the process of ensuring that our ballots are counted as cast. This is in direct violation of SC Constitution, Article II, Section 1: “All elections by the people shall be by secret ballot, but the ballots shall not be counted in secret.”

Currently, once our ballot is printed, we place it into a tabulation machine (ES&S DS200). This machine has an external count that shows our ballot was counted (this is how they try to get around our State Constitution by saying the public count of the tabulation machine satisfies Article II, Section 1. What do you think? Is this the intent of those who wrote our State Constitution that we only be allowed to count how many ballots went into the box? Or did they intend for people to be able to lay eyes on the ballots to verify for whom votes were cast once voting had concluded?). 

However, the machine reads the barcode printed on the ballot, not the names of the candidates printed by the Ballot Marking Device, and there is no external check on the accuracy of how our vote is actually counted, with very few exceptions. New reports are emerging daily across the country of issues with voting equipment, including tabulator machines’ abilities to swap bubbles once they’re scanned, thus storing an image that differs from the actual paper ballot.

After each election, the State Election Commission tells each county which precincts to audit. This does not produce statistically significant results. There are 2300 precincts across the state in SC, each with 11-13 items on the ballot for both primaries combined. 

See for yourself here: What happened on p. 39 in Florence County, Ward 3? The tallies are different. A close examination of the final results as posted on the SEC website (Results – Florence – Election Night Reporting ( also elicits questions as there are more votes, conceivably early votes and absentee ballots cast, but I have not found precinct-level data for early voters. In fact, SC Title 7-7-990 D states “When the Countywide Barrier-Free Voting Precinct in the respective counties closes, the votes of the Countywide Barrier-Free Voting Precinct shall be tabulated and reported as a separate precinct when other ballots of the county are counted on election day.” In the county I live in, early voting was conducted at the County Voter Registration Office and the tabulation machine was labeled 999-Barrier Free. Why then were these votes not counted as their own precinct? Instead, they were combined with the electronic totals from the voters’ respective precincts, even though the physical ballots remained in the box belonging to the Barrier Free precinct.

Another issue that is likely due to human error, but seemed to be widespread throughout the state this past primary is the fact that not all voters’ ballots were correct. Likely due to redistricting, I am aware of at least 4 races around the state where some people received ballots with a missing local race that they knew should have been on the ballot. For example, Mike Covert, county council candidate in Beaufort County, went to vote for himself after the polls had been open for over a week and his name was not on his own ballot. He knew what he was looking for, but not everyone might have caught the fact that their ballot was incorrect. How many people in recently redistricted areas lost votes because of this error? Listen here for the full story: (2) Facebook Live | Facebook