Voters’ watchdog has questions for election officials

The move by South Carolina to a new voting system, in the view of the League of Women Voters, was a step to assure every vote cast is the vote that the voter actually intended, but it doesn’t go far enough. “We definitely wanted paper ballots. We’re not happy with this particular system that they have selected…,” according to Eleanor Hare of the Clemson Area League of Women Voters. Hare is talking about the state Election Commission announcement this week that a company has been chosen to develop a paper-based system to replace the system that has been in effect since 2004. Marci Andino, executive director of the state Election Commission, said in the announcement: “We will now be able to audit paper ballots to verify results. This is a significant measure that will go a long way in providing voters and election officials the assurance that every vote is counted just as the voter intended.” Hare, who with other league members has studied the state’s paperless system, wants voters to be able to mark their ballots in pen. Another league member has an audience tomorrow at the election commission and will have questions to ask. The cost of the new system is $51 million and is to be in place in time for all elections after January 1.