S.C. State Elections Commission officials are requesting a probe into the fraudulent use of the names of 900 dead people in recent state elections.
State Election Commission Chairman John Hudgens and Executive Director Marci Andino announced their support of the call for an investigation into possible voter fraud in state elections on Thursday.
In a statement released Wednesday, S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson reported the discovery of evidence that was uncovered by Department of Motor Vehicles Director Kevin Shwedo during a recent review of data related to the state's controversial new voter ID law.
“Director Shwedo’s research has revealed evidence that over nine hundred deceased people appear to have ‘voted’ in recent elections in South Carolina,” Wilson said in a statement released Wednesday. “This is an alarming number, and clearly necessitates an investigation into potential criminal activity."
Wilson has requested S.C. State Law Enforcement Division Chief Mark Keel to review Shwedo's findings.
“At the core of the State Election Commission’s mission is ensuring every eligible citizen has the opportunity to participate in fair and impartial elections and have the assurance that their vote will count,” Andino said. “Recent claims that more than 900 votes were cast in the name of dead people are very concerning."
Andino said if the findings are true it would mean the state's election process has been compromised.
"It would mean every person’s legal vote has been diluted by illegal ones. Such a reality would strike a blow to the public’s confidence in the election process in S.C,” Andino said.
In his letter to Chief Keel, Wilson writes, “No right is more precious than the right to vote and no process is more important in terms of integrity than the election process. Voter fraud cannot be tolerated. Therefore, I respectfully request that SLED conduct a preliminary inquiry into these voting irregularities.”
Read the letter: http://www.scag.gov/pdf/voting.pdf
The S.C. voter ID law was passed in 2011, and requires voters to show specific types of photo identification. The law was rejected by the U.S. Justice Department on the grounds that it was discriminatory against minorities and the poor.
Wilson's office is in the process of appealing the decision and state lawmakers said they are ready to file a lawsuit against the Justice Department.