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      Richland County Elections Commission continuing ballot count

      COLUMBIA (WACH)-Several employees with the Richland County Elections Commission were counting votes from last weeks election Wednesday afternoon into the evening hours.

      Officials sorted out about 15,000 absentee ballots along with votes placed in machines. One issue involves an unknown number of incorrect ballots that were mailed out to voters.

      After testing the machines, they were ready to count the ballots around 5 p.m. Wednesday. Once complete, each ballot is being looked at one by one to make sure there were no mistakes.

      County Elections Chairperson Liz Crum said they will make sure every vote counts.

      "We absolutely apologize for the wait. That wait should never have happened," Crum said. "But what I can say with great confidence is there vote has not been lost. We have a triple redundancy through the hard drive on the machine. We've got hard copies that they voted."

      Crum said she hopes the process will be complete sometime Wednesday night. Officials have until noon Friday to have all of the results certified and sent to the State Elections Commission.

      UPDATE: According to the Richland County Election Commission, the unofficial results show that in State House District 75, Republican Kirkman Finlay beat Democrat Joe McCullough, recieving 51 percent of the votes to McCullough's 48 percent vote count. The Richland County "penny tax" also passed on both the implementation of the tax and the bond.

      All the votes will be certified by noon on Friday.