Candidate demands recount after narrow loss to Batesburg-Leesville's Steve Cain

Published: Nov. 5, 2015 at 4:20 AM EST|Updated: Nov. 15, 2015 at 4:39 AM EST
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BATESBURG-LEESVILLE, SC (WIS) - A controversial town councilman ousted from his seat this past summer has won it back. Tuesday night, Stephen Cain beat out the challenger for his old council seat in Batesburg-Leesville by just six votes. But that challenger isn't surrendering yet.

Terry Wise said she's upset by what she heard on Tuesday from some of the voters in Batesburg-Leesville. She said she knows of at least two discrepancies: a voter who was, at first, told she could not vote and another voter who was given the wrong ballot.

Wise said Wednesday morning she submitted paperwork requesting a recount.

Dean Crepes, the director of Lexington County Voter Registration and Elections, said he will ask the election commission for that recount in a meeting Thursday morning. Crepes said only one issue was reported, and it was dealt with accordingly.

He said if poll workers gave a voter the wrong ballot, all the voter would have to do is notify the poll worker to get things switched. Crepes said his office uses the district map lines sent by the state.

RELATED: Watch Councilman Steve Cain get ejected from a council meeting.

Still, Wise said she isn't satisfied.

"We had a citizen to say, 'They said I can't vote, because I didn't update my registration. My voter's registration.' That's fine, but your address on your license is correct. She moved from District 1 into District 3. No one said to her, 'Because your registration isn't updated, there is a way for you to vote via fail safe.' They simply told her she could not vote," Wise said. "I stepped in and made a phone call to verify and make sure this lady could vote, and she was able to once I made that phone call, but that should not have been my job. A poll worker should have been able to tell her that."

Meanwhile, the Mayor of Batesburg-Leesville, Rita Crapps, said she's heard rumors of issues at Tuesday's polls, too.

"Some years back the town relinquished all responsibilities for municipal elections to the county. The town has nothing to do with the maps defining the single-member district," the mayor said in a statement. "If someone was not allowed to vote and they should have been or they were forced to vote in the wrong district, the resolution to the matter rests squarely on the shoulders of the Lexington County Registration and Elections commission. We as voters rely on the accuracy of the tabulation. I sincerely hope the commission will look into any claims of errors and improprieties. There can be no margin of error."

We reached out to Cain for comment and to schedule a possible interview, but he referred us to his attorney.

The elections director said a recount, if gr anted, will take place this Friday or next Monday.

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