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      Election Commission votes no to 7th District runoff

      The newly formed 7th District officially has a winner.

      Coastal Carolina Professor Gloria Tinubu, the 7th Congressional District nominee from Tuesday's primary, was at the State Election Commission's office Friday. She pled her case as to why more then 2300 votes for State Representative Ted Vick should not count.

      Vick withdrew his name My 25 after a drunk driving arrest, but he was still on the ballot.

      Tinubu's attorney James Smith Jr. argues that under South Carolina law, Vick's votes are not valid.

      "Mr...Vick is no longer a candidate at the time the votes were cast. Therefore, when you look to statute 7-17-610 to determine whether or not you include and count his ballot's in determining a majority, it is clear that you do not."

      Tinubu's closest opponent in the race, attorney Preston Brittain, was not present; but says that since there was not a clear cut winner, there should be a runoff.

      After an hour closed door meeting, Chairman John Hodges said the commission voted 3-2 in favor of not counting Vick's votes and will not order a runoff.

      "There is certainly an argument that these votes should not be included and is consistent with what happened in the rulings in Anderson and Florence. The Attorney General gave his opinion that we should include the votes. But we had to deliberate that and come up with the best decision we could."

      A spokesman for Brittain sent WACH the following statement.

      "It is disappointing that the State Election Commission determined that more than 2,300 voters have been told that their vote does not count against the recommendation from the State Attorney General. We believe that the court will ultimately decide that the votes cast will be counted. Preston looks forward for a swift resolution of this matter for the benefit of all affected by the SC Election Commission decision."

      A decision has been made but the battle is not over yet. A supporter for Brittain has filed a lawsuit. A judge has ordered election officials not to calculate voting machines for a runoff until next week's hearing.