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2012 01 25 (Andino Testimony)

2012 01 25 (Andino Testimony)

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Published by Tyler Jones

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Categories:Types, Letters
Published by: Tyler Jones on Jan 25, 2012
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01/25/2012

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MediaContact:ChrisWhitmire(803)734-9070cwhitmire@elections.sc.gov
TestimonyofSECExecutiveDirectorMarciAndinobeforetheHouseElectionLawsSubcommittee
January25,2012
Iappreciatetheopportunitytospeakwithyoutoday.ThemissionoftheStateElectionCommissionistoensureeveryeligibleSouthCarolinacitizenhastheopportunitytoregistertovote,participateinfairandimpartialelections,andhavetheassurancethattheirvoteswillcount.IwanttoemphasizeupfronttheStateElectionCommissionhasbeen–andremains–studiouslyneutralbefore,duringandafterpassageofthevoterphotoIDAct.Ouronlyinterest–ouronlyobjective–istorespecttherightsofvoters,toprotecttheintegrityofthevotingsystemandtoupholdthelawsofSouthCarolinaandtheUnitedStatesthatpertaintovotingandelections.IftheActispre-clearedbytheDepartmentofJustice,wearetheagencychargedwithimplementation.Wearededicatedtohavingasuccessfulimplementationbymakingsurecountieswillbeabletobeginproducingvoterregistrationcardswithphotosassoonafterapprovalaspossible.WearealsocommittedtomakingsurethatvotersarenotdisenfranchisedbecausetheydonothaveaphotoID.Forthelastfewweeks,therehasbeenagreatdealofdiscussionaboutSouthCarolina’sphotoIDlawandsomeofthedatausedinconsiderationofthislaw.TherearethreeissuesthatIwanttoaddresswithyoutoday:thedead,dataanddueprocess.
 
 
TheDead
First,Iwanttoaddresstheissueofdeadcitizenswhoremainonthevoterregistrationrollsand–mostimportantly–possiblefraudwithballotscastinthenameofdeceasedvoters.DMVanalyzedseveraldatabasesandidentifiedapproximately37,000votersbelievedtobedeceasedwhoremainonthevoterregistrationlist.Furtheranalysisindicatedthat953ballotshavebeencastinthenamesofvoterswhoweredeceased.Fortherecord,Ihavenotbeenprovidedwiththelistof953voters.WewerefirstmadeawareofthisclaimonJanuary11
th
.AssoonastheStateElectionCommissionlearnedthatevidenceofvoterfraudmayexist,wejoinedothersincallingforanimmediateinvestigationbytheSLED,toidentifywhereandwhentheseballotswerepurportedlycastandtoseekprosecutionofanyindividualsuspectedofhavingcommittedvoterfraud.Countyregistrationandelectionofficialsexpressedtheirconcernovertheallegationsofvoterfraudhavingbeencommittedintheircounties.Forexample,NaomiDeFrenn,theBarnwellCountyelectiondirector,calledourofficetofindoutifanyofthedeadvoterswerefromBarnwellCounty.Weprovidedherwiththenamesofthe4votersidentifiedasdeceasedonthelistof37,000.OneofthevotershadalreadybeenidentifiedasdeceasedthoughrecordsprovidedbytheDHECBureauofVitalStatisticsandpreviouslyremovedfromtheactivelistofregisteredvoters.Ms.DeFrennconductedherownresearchandfoundanothervoterhaddiedoutofstateinNewYork.Thatvoterhassincebeenremoved.Shepersonallycontactedtheothertwovoterswhohadbeenidentifiedasdeceasedandfoundtheyarealive.WiththepresidentialprimaryloomingonJanuary21,wefeltcompelledtoseeifanyofthe37,000votersidentifiedasdeceasedhadrequestedabsenteeballotsfortheprimary.Wefound10votersin8differentcountieswhohad,infact,filled
 
 
outanapplicationforanabsenteeballot.Weimmediatelyaskedlocalelectionofficialstoprovideuswithcopiesofthevoterregistrationandabsenteeapplicationssignedbythesevoters.Fortunately,ineverycase,wewereabletoconfirmthatthesignaturesontheseformsmatchedandthat,again,thesevotersarealive.LastThursday,theAttorneyGeneral’sofficeprovidedmewithapartiallistofthe953deceasedvotersallegedtohavecastballots.Theyprovidedsix(6)names.ThesesixnameswerefromAbbevilleCounty.Grantedthisisaverysmallsampleinasmallcounty,butthatmakesiteasytoinvestigateandconfirmwhattookplace.Areviewofthevoterregistrationlistsandsignaturesonthepolllistsfromtheelectionsinquestionrevealedthatofthesesix:
 
Onewasanabsenteeballotcompletedandcastbyavoterwhothendiedbeforeelectionday;
 
AnotherwastheresultofanerrorbyapollworkerwhomistakenlymarkedthevoterasSamuelFerguson,Jr.whenthevoterwasinfactSamuelFerguson,III;
 
Twoweretheresultofstraymarksonthevoterregistrationlistdetectedbythescannerandmissedduringerrorcorrection–again,aclericalerror;
 
Thefinaltwoweretheresultofpollmanagersincorrectlymarkingthenameofthevoterinquestioninsteadofthevoterlistedeitheraboveorbelowonthevoterregistrationlist.Ihave25yearsexperienceworkingwithvoterregistrationandelectiondataandIcantellyouthatthisis,unfortunatelynotuncommon.Oursystemisnotperfect;however,wehavemadegreatimprovementsovertheyears.Theincorrectmarkingofvoterregistrationlistsbypollmanagersisaddressedinpollmanagertrainingandtoolsareprovidedtopollingplacestomakethisprocesseasierandreducetheinstancesofmarkingthewrongvoter.TheStateElectionCommissionhasalsodevelopedanelectronicvoterregistrationlistthatallowspollmanagerstouselaptopcomputerstolocatevotersandindicateparticipationinanelection.

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