James Island election challenge reveals inanity of system

Update January 13: Scarborough has withdrawn his appeal.

First reporting: A Post and Courier article points out how ridiculous, inane, yet justified Wallace Scarborough's (R) appeal is over the list of 278 could-be invalid votes.

Wallace Scarborough lost his S.C. House seat on November 4 by some 211 votes to Democratic challenger Peterson Hutto.

Read more stories on this subject in our Wallace Scarborough topic page.Because some voters on the list actually voted Republican, nixing their votes would only weaken Scarborough's appeal. But as the way folks voted isn't tracked, the only option is to let votes stand or do a revote.

Here's a link to that article.

I should also add, that Monday's article often runs in dead opposition to The Post and Courier's guest editorial that ran Friday, January 9. You compare; Part of Friday's editorial:
After Election Day, though, Scarborough discovered that more than 300 people who voted in the election no longer lived in the precincts where they were registered to vote. ...

The bottom line: The number of illegal votes cast in the race exceeds the margin of victory by more than 100. It should have been an easy call for the State Election Commission to overturn the race and order a new election.

And Monday's article:
Buddy Milligan lives on Little Oak Island but has his mail sent to his North Charleston office. Milligan is amused that his vote is among 278 being questioned because their voter registration address and driver's license address aren't the same.

"Protesting my vote is kind of ridiculous because I voted for him," Milligan said. "I am a died-in-the-wool, right-of-Attila-the-Hun Republican."

So it seems all of those votes were not illegal.

Still, none of it matters: When the state's lawmakers decide what to do about the election on Wednesday, January 14, they won't consider any of this new evidence, and will only use evidence from the early-December ruling by the State Election Commission.

What to takeaway? Politics are messy and our voting system needs vast improvements in both efficiency and automated error-correction.

Allowing for early voting would introduce much more error-tolerance in the system. It would allow those who attempt to vote incorrectly to be turned away and have time to do things properly, or fix the error.

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