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Lexington County GOP calls for 2020 election audit, confusing GOP Lexington State Senator

Published: Oct. 7, 2021 at 6:39 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON COUNTY, S.C. (WIS) - The Lexington County Republican Party wants the 2020 election results to be looked at again despite their party’s big wins in the county and state.

In a resolution the county party passed this week, the Lexington County GOP says people in Lexington and across the state witnessed quote “questionable activities” as the votes in the 2020 election were being counted.

“[V]oter rolls have not been sufficiently cleaned as required by law throughout the state, therefore, allowing for illegal votes via residency, citizens located on the death registry and other circumstances,” the county party writes in the resolution without providing further evidence.

State Senator Katrina Shealy, R-Lexington, says she is confused by what her own constituents are trying to achieve through this audit and says going through with it could potentially waste time and millions of dollars.

“To call for that since we won so big in South Carolina it’s really a waste of taxpayer money. And it would be taxpayer money. I mean who else is going to pay for that? I mean, we won three senate seats, we won 2 house seats, we turned back over a congressional seat, and Trump won 55 percent in the state and 65 in Lexington county. What are we looking for?” Shealy said.

The county party’s resolution calls on members of the Lexington County delegation like Shealy to come up with an “actionable” plan to conduct a forensic audit of the 2020 election within 30 days of receiving the resolution.

Rep. Micah Caskey, R-Lexington, said he hasn’t seen the resolution yet when asked for comment.

“Republicans across the board 100% support fair and secure elections, where one person equals one vote. For the most [part], we did things right in South Carolina–even President Trump said that on Hannity after the election,” wrote Lexington County GOP Chairman Craig Caldwell in a statement to WIS. “Restoring confidence in our elections, whether that be from cleaning up voter rolls, random precinct audits, or requiring photo ID for absentee ballots, should be a priority. Hopefully, the State Election Commission will provide some answers on everything here soon.”

The State Election Commission says at this point the SEC isn’t able to conduct additional audits of the 2020 election.

“The 2020 General Election has been audited and certified. We have seen no evidence whatsoever to indicate the 2020 General Election was anything but fair, secure, and accurate,” said S.C. State Election Commission Director of Public Information Chris Whitmire. “Prior to certifying election results, county boards of voter registration and elections perform ballot-reconciliation and hand-count audit processes to ensure the accuracy and integrity of the election.”

Whitmire added that starting in 2022, the SEC will have a third-party system re-tabulate every ballot.

“We believe these additional audits will provide voters and election officials even greater confidence in the integrity of our elections,” he said.

When asked about the call for an audit, Governor McMaster said that this is the Lexington County GOP’s decision to make.

“That’s up to them, we want to have safe, secure elections all the time and if there’s a group that says we need an audit then by golly they outta have one,” McMaster told reporters Thursday.

However, Shealy says this time and effort would be better spent looking to the future.

“If there is something we need to do for the 2022 elections...if we need to go out and recruit candidates. Or, even if they are going to go to another state where they see a big blue wave coming in. Or, they want to help someone else turn Congress...that’s where we need to be putting our energy. We do not to be focusing our energy on an election that’s not going to be overturned. That’s not going to happen,” Shealy said.

This resolution also says the Lexington County GOP would support a group like the Cyber Ninjas as the ones in charge of auditing the county elections.

The Cyber Ninjas were also in charge of an audit of the Maricopa County election in Arizona. The group’s audit found that then-candidate Biden won the contested county as had been previously announced by Arizona state officials.

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