To paraphrase Mark Twain's famous remark in 1897, reports of 953 "dead people" having voted in recent South Carolina elections appear to be greatly exaggerated. Who could have guessed it?
Following quickly on the heels of Rightwing hoaxster James O'Keefe's successful felonious conspiracy to commit voter fraud during the New Hampshire primary this year, by receiving ballots in the name of very recently deceased voters (resulting in a Republican call for his "arrest and prosecution" in the Granite State) and the U.S. Dept. of Justice's rejection of a new South Carolina law attempting to keep registered voters from voting at the polling place unless they are able to present a state-issued Photo ID, on the basis that the state's own evidence reveals the law to be both illegal and discriminatory, the SC Attorney General pushed back by claiming that a state DMV analysis had discovered some 953 votes had been cast by "dead people" in recent elections there.
Funny thing though. Upon closer examination, as is almost always the case in these matters, those 953 "dead voters" may not be so "dead" after all. That, according to SC State Election Commission (SEC) Executive Director Marci Andino who both testified [PDF] and released a statement on the matter last week.
According to both her statement and testimony to the SC House Election Laws Subcommittee, Andino, the state's chief election official, said:
- One was an absentee ballot cast by a voter who then died before election day;
- Another was the result of an error by a poll worker who mistakenly marked the voter as Samuel Ferguson, Jr. when the voter was in fact Samuel Ferguson, III;
- Two were the result of stray marks on the voter registration list detected by the scanner - again, a clerical error;
- The final two were the result of poll managers incorrectly marking the name of the voter in question instead of the voter listed either above or below on the list.
Zounds! Who could have guessed that Republican claims of hordes of zombies voting in South Carolina's elections --- as first publicized in a short, evidence-free AP article trumpeted at Fox "News" --- were, um, "greatly exaggerated"?!
And that's not the only specious claim by the AG's office that Andino dismantled during her testimony last week...