GOP Investigation Fails to Prove Any Dead People Voted in South Carolina

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht
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After an 18-month investigation, The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, or SLED, failed to find any evidence that voter fraud was committed by using the name of a deceased individual in recent South Carolina elections.

“We must have certainty in South Carolina that zombies aren’t voting,” said Rep. Alan Clemmons, R-Myrtle Beach.

The SLED investigation was conducted after Republicans, who argued for new voter ID laws, were unsatisfied with a report from the State Elections Commission that no such zombie-votes existed.

“It is an unspoken truth in South Carolina that election fraud exists,” Clemmons wrote in a letter to the Department of Justice.

“We know for a fact that there are deceased people whose identities are being used in elections in South Carolina,” said Republican Attorney General Alan Wilson.

Wilson cited an “alarming” report from the Department of Motor Vehicles claiming some 950 names of dead people had apparently voted in recent elections.

“Well over 900 individuals appear to have voted after they died,” DMV director Kevin Shwedo told a House hearing.

According to the 500-page report, all SLED could find evidence of was clerical errors and scanning problems, including hundreds of errors because of confusing a father and son who have the same name.

State Elections Commission director Marci Andino said the agency also investigated 200 cases of zombie voters on the DMV list but found no fraud. Andino said they found one was the result of a voter casting an absentee ballot before dying; two were clerical errors from stray marks picked up by a scanner; one was the result of a poll worker thinking one voter was his deceased father; and two more were the result of poll managers marking down the wrong name on a list.

Nevertheless, the agency received daily calls from citizens concerned about claims that dead people were turning up in voter rolls, said State Elections Commission spokesman Chris Whitmire.

“It hurt the public confidence in South Carolina elections,” Whitmire told the Columbia Free Times.

Democratic Rep. Bakari Sellers said the GOP were negligent and compromised the public trust."They lied to our entire state and then they lied to our entire nation," Sellers said. 

Sources: ThinkProgress, Columbia Free Times