COLUMBIA (WACH) - Richland County election commission attorney Steve Hamm presented a report to the commission's board Thursday on what led to an election mess including long lines, missing machines and misplaced ballots.
The investigation Hamm conducted shows after the election, uncounted votes were found multiple times, including after the election was certified.
"I believe there is a machine in the Spring Valley west precinct that contains 102 votes. I currently do not believe those votes were included in the counts," said Steve Hamm.
The counting of the ballots started on November 14 a full week after the election. The following day more than 140 uncounted votes were found and the Hamm report indicates the possibility of more uncounted votes.
"I know that 27 votes in the Lincolnshire precinct were not counted, distinctly possible these 102 votes may not have been counted," adds Hamm.
Richland County lawmakers did not see the report when they met on Thursday; it was not available at that time.
The delegation postponing any discussion on the election commission until the report was available.
On Friday members speaking out, Senator Darrell Jackson's office saying
"Mr. Hamm's report yesterday was interim. He indicated specifically that he suspected the votes were not counted.
That has not been confirmed. Until then, we will wait until he can confirm this information," said spokesperson Antjuan Seawright.
Mia-Butler Garrick says
"It's unfortunate and unfair to voters in the county, who tried to and participated in the process and didn't have votes counted, that's inconceivable," said Garrick.
Garrick added "The resistance to take any action is irresponsible on the board and the delegation."
Attorney Hamm insists all the problems the county faced did not impact the election.
"These problems are unfortunate, but where they are located do not in anywayimplicate election results," added Hamm.