Charleston County absentee voters may receive more than one ballot

CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCBD)  — A postal error caused confusion for many people across South Carolina, including in Charleston County.

Joe Debney, Charleston County Director of Elections, says the postal service delivered an original batch of absentee ballots to the wrong location. As not to delay the voting process, officials sent a new batch of the requested absentee ballots. This resulted in some voters receiving multiple ballots, however elections officials say they are working to make sure only one vote counts per person.

“We have safe guards in place all across the state where you can’t cast two ballots. We have a check and balance in place so that we can make sure no one sends back two ballots,” said Debney.

For those filling out a paper ballot, you must fill out the form, fold it, and place it in the envelope in which it came. The voter and a witness must sign the envelope and return it via mail or in person to election headquarters.

When the election workers take in the vote on primary election day, they match the ballot to the voter registration number to ensure only one vote goes in per registered voter.

Voters are instructed to destroy the duplicate ballot.

The error also resulted in 187 people in Spartanburg County receiving multiple ballots to vote in the upcoming South Carolina primaries.

“We’re one of several counties in the state where they handle it,” said Laye.

So far, officials say only one person sent back both ballots — possibly trying to vote twice.

“We had already logged in the first ballot [and] knew that it was the second ballot.  It was set aside and not counted,” said Laye.

Before the second ballot showed up in mailboxes, the office sent out letters to those impacted by the mistake.

The letter warns, “any duplicate ballots will be challenged and rejected.”

“I assure the folks of Spartanburg County that we do have measures in place to make sure nobody votes twice,” said Laye.

Voters have until 5 pm before each primary election to cast an absentee ballot. Voters can only take part in one of the primaries, either democrat or republican.


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