Image by Flickr user John Ryan Brubaker
Update January 25: The South Carolina Election Commission (SEC) released a statement today with regards with Attorney General Wilson's alleged deceased voters.
The Attorney General still hasn't released a full data set from their study. However he did give a partial list to the SEC that turns out to be less sensational than the original story. Only one of the votes in the sample set was truly a deceased vote that had died between filing an absentee ballot and election day. The rest were common clerical errors by poll workers.
The full text of the SEC Executive Director Marci Andino testimony is below. If nothing else, this is all an interesting peek in how politicians strategically use the media to push their causes around.
Update January 23: Oops.
As it turns out, the letter is dated January 11, 2012 and several news outlets throughout the state covered it around that time. It was kicked up again just after the 2012 SC GOP Presidential Preference election and we (well, I) bit on it. I was skeptical of the vague data, but the date on the release just didn't catch my eye. Since you've read this far, here's some more data for you.
Media Matters for America, a website that monitors and fact checks American news outlets, has an interesting break down of the Fox News coverage of Alan Wilson's continued march for the Voter ID law. It includes a note that indicates several of the dead voters could have been absentee ballots that passed away between voting and the election; see more here.
First Report: Be aware that this could be a media ploy with regards to the recently struck down Voter ID law. There's been no data presented yet to show in which elections these fraudulent votes occurred. The news release is below.
Attorney General Alan Wilson today asked SLED Chief Mark Keel to review evidence of potential voter fraud in the state. The evidence was uncovered by Kevin Shwedo, Director of the Department of Motor Vehicles, during an extensive review of data related to the state’s new Voter I.D. law.
“Director Shwedo’s research has revealed evidence that over nine hundred deceased people appear to have ‘voted’ in recent elections in South Carolina,” said Wilson. “This is an alarming number, and clearly necessitates an investigation into potential criminal activity. I have asked SLED Chief Keel to review Director Shwedo’s research.”
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.”