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Charleston Co. sending replacement ballots in 3 precincts after error found

Photo: Getty Images

By Patrick Phillips | October 14, 2020 at 4:43 PM EDT - Updated October 14 at 11:19 PM

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Charleston County officials confirmed Wednesday they are mailing out replacement ballots to three precincts in the county in order to correct a clerical error.

The ballots will be sent to voters living in St. Andrews districts 3, 4 and 28, county spokesman Shawn Smetana said.

Incorrect ballots affecting County Council seats in Districts 6 and 7 were mailed to 1,324 voters, he said, adding that the error did not affect any other contested races on those ballots.

Voters living in the three districts should expect to receive the new ballots within three to five business days and they should mail back the replacement ballot, which will have a purple stripe on the envelope, Smetana said.

In addition, 225 people who voted in-person absentee also received the wrong ballot for Council Districts 6 and 7, county officials say.

Some voters did not have the opportunity to vote for the Charleston County Council candidate representing their district, and others were able to cast a vote for a candidate outside of their district.

“This was brought to our attention by a citizen who realized there may have been an issue with their mail-in ballot,” Smetana said.

The county released the following breakdown of the errors for the two council races:

County Council District 6

  • By Mail: 652 voters affected
  • In-Person: 49 voters without the County Council 6 race on their ballot
  • 28 voters that did receive ballots in the County Council 6 race, but should not have

County Council District 7

  • By Mail: 672 voters affected
  • In-Person: 148 voters affected

But Smetana said despite the error, state law does not allow for changes to those ballots and those votes will count.

Charleston County Board of Elections Commission has notified all of the Charleston County Council candidates who are affected, and has contacted both the Democratic and Republican party chairs.

Director of Elections for Charleston County Joseph Debney said the error was reported last night, and the error had to do with voters receiving the wrong ballot form, voters didn’t have the option to vote for county council candidates in the district.

District 4 was also affected, but Henry Darby is running unopposed.

Copyright 2020 WCSC. All rights reserved.

Photo: Live 5 News

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