Breakdown of strong mayor votes show discrepancy - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Breakdown of strong mayor votes show discrepancy

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

The number of ballots cast in Tuesday's special election to determine the strong mayor issue don't match up with the number of voters. It's off by 68 votes. Election commission members say it may all come down to pressure with a very divisive issue.

As we were working on the break down of how you voted, we also realized some of these numbers didn't add up. We know many of you are concerned with the accuracy of the election results, so we thought this deserved some looking into.

It was something the Richland County Election Commission also noticed and questioned Thursday morning during the certification process. 

When you add up how many voted for the strong mayor form of government and how many voted against it, that number doesn't match up with the total number of ballots cast.

The election commission doesn't believe it's machine error because the back-up matches the numbers from the PEBs, but they say in some cases voters may have just wanted the "I Voted" sticker and didn't chose one way or other.

"There was probably pressure to go vote, didn't want to make a choice, just go in vote present and come out," said attorney Jay Bender.

It's worth pointing out it was predominantly black neighborhoods that had the undervoting issue.  Thirty four of the 76 precincts had undervoting. Ward 21 had the greatest discrepancy at five votes.

The undervoting issue has happened in other elections including this past November where you can see a discrepancy at precincts between the number of votes cast for mayor and for the at large city council seat -- more people chose to vote for mayor than for the at-large council seat.

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