Media Contact

Jessica McFadden, jmcfadden@aclusc.org, (843)282-7951

November 7, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CHARLESTON, SC - The right to vote is sacred.  It became quite obvious yesterday, in one of the most engaging mid-term elections in memory, that South Carolina’s leadership has failed to protect that right.  In at least nine counties in South Carolina, our aging voting machines malfunctioned.  Mitchell Elementary in Charleston had only 2 of 5 machines working for a period of time.  In York County, a voter reported the machine changed her vote six times before poll workers moved the voter to a new machine and called in a technician.  And above it all, where machines were working, wait times averaged 45 minutes to an hour.  Where they weren’t, wait times were longer.

For years, the State Election Commission has asked for money from the state legislature to update our voting machines, to no avail.  Yesterday’s issues are proof positive that the legislature has no choice but to fund new voting machines, or risk losing the confidence of the public.

“Long wait-times, voting machines failing, voting machines changing votes – this is not what democracy looks like, and the citizens of South Carolina deserve better,” said Shaundra Young Scott, Executive Director of the ACLU of South Carolina.  “This might not be the typical type of voter suppression we see in other parts of the country, but it’s suppression nonetheless.”

In responding to the many complaints voters had on Election Day, the ACLU and the South Carolina Progressive Network sent a letter to the State Election Commission Executive Director, Marci Andino, to implore her to encourage the use of paper ballots when machine malfunctions cause voting delays, and in the long-term, to demand the legislature fund new machines.

This press release can be found here: https://www.aclusc.org/en/press-releases/voting-machine-issues-election-...

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