COLUMBIA, S.C. (WACH / AP) -- Richland County election officials have found 194 ballots in two separate searches a day after finishing their unofficial count of ballots from this month's election.
Around 150 ballots were found in a bag Wednesday. County Election Commission attorney Steve Hamm said workers found the ballots in a sealed room.The ballots were in a bag sealed by the State Law Enforcement Division, which kept control of the votes for several days while a judge determined what to do about the counting.
Then during the meeting Thursday, the officials decided to search "one last time" for additional ballots and uncovered 44 uncounted ballots in the absentee room.
Officials began scanning the additional ballots before 6 p.m. Thursday. Some of the ballots were being hand counted due to scanner rejection.
"I am trying to do everything in my power for the Commission to make whatever is happening open, we'll deal with it. I don't want any suggestion that the staff of the Commission is in anyway trying to hide anything," said Hamm.
The count Wednesday confirmed Republican businessman Kirkman Finlay won the State House District 75 seat with Finlay being ahead by 312 votes Thursday evening.
The Richland County Election Commission has a noon deadline Friday set by the South Carolina Supreme Court to certify the county election tally.
That comes after officials meet back at 8 a.m. Friday morning to finish sorting out fail-safe and provisional ballots before the deadline.
Richland County reported five-hour waits to vote Nov. 6 amid broken machines and questions whether the county held back some voting devices.