A top state election official in South Carolina is disputing a recent claim that more than 950 people who voted in recent elections could actually be dead. Of the six names of so-called zombie voters her office was allowed to examine, all were eligible to vote.
The data checking came after the director of the state Department of Motor Vehicles, Kevin Shwedo, testified on Jan. 11 that based on a DMV report, an estimated 950-plus dead people had voted since the day they had died.
Election officials challenged that data, however, during a Jan. 25 hearing on the issue where S.C. Election Commission director Marci Andino testified that some of the voters the DMV data said were dead are very much alive - and were eligible to cast a ballot, according to the Columbia Free Times.
During the hearing, Myrtle Beach GOP Rep. Alan Clemmons, said, "We must have certainty in South Carolina that zombies aren't voting."
From the Free Times:
The State Election Commission responded in kind.
In a news release that election agency spokesman Chris Whitmire handed out prior to the hearing, the agency disputed the claim that dead people had voted. One allegedly dead voter on the DMV's list cast an absentee ballot before dying; another was the result of a poll worker mistakenly marking the voter as his deceased father; two were clerical errors resulting from stray marks on voter registration lists detected by a scanner; two others resulted from poll managers incorrectly marking the name of the voter in question instead of the voter above or below on the list.
The debate over zombie voters comes after the U.S. Justice Department blocked a controversial GOP-backed Voter ID bill that DOJ officials said discriminated against minority voters and was a violation of the federal Voting Rights Act.
South Carolina Republican Gov. Nikki Haley and GOP Attorney General Alan Wilson say they will fight the DOJ in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C.
Meanwhile, the state attorney general's office doubled down on its claim that dead people might be voting in South Carolina.
A spokesman for the attorney general attempted to poke holes in the S.C. Election Commission's testimony by telling the Free Times that the six names the election commission examined didn't come from the list being analyzed by the state law enforcement.
The Free Times, however, confirmed that they had.
Meanwhile, when Free Times asked Rep. Clemmons why he had written in a letter to the DOJ in support of the state Voter ID bill that it is an "unspoken truth" in South Carolina that election fraud exists, he declined to back it up.
"You're speaking about a letter I sent to the Justice Department with regard with Voter ID," he said, when confronted about it. "I think it was something about an unspoken truth in South Carolina."
When this reporter said he had never heard about such unspoken truths in the state regarding voter fraud, Clemmons replied, "You need to spend time with me then."
He continued: "If you've never heard that in South Carolina then you need to start talking to folks out there in South Carolina that are involved."
Asked what kind of fraud he was talking about, Clemmons said, "I'm not making allegations of fraud today; what I'm saying is, we have an election system in South Carolina we've got to have total confidence in."