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Voting irregularities in County election

Anthony Bryant
4726 Churchill Ave
North Charleston

Sir
Where is the outcry? There was a glaring irregularity in voting in the last County Democratic primary. Voting machines were not programmed correctly in District 4 and the votes of some 40 people failed to register in split precincts, a fact noted by the Board of Elections. These votes could have been sufficient to swing the results for council candidates.

The reason for the voting failure is not clear. It may have been uncertainty in relation to the new boundaries which were drawn and which generally were not known until a week or so before the election. It may have also been incompetence.

The failure to hold another election is a travesty in my opinion. In the Democratic primary for District 4, Henry Derby won with 401 votes, Karen Hollingshead was second with 336 votes and Robert Mitchell was third with 334 votes, just 2 votes behind. On the basis of these votes alone, there would have been a run off between the first two candidates. But considering the small margin enjoyed by Ms Hollingshead there was a good chance that Mr. Mitchell could have won second place and been in the run off.

So why shouldn't there be a new election? It would be confined only to District 4 and would not be costly. And it would allow a just and proper end to the first election in the county under the "single district concept".

So why doesn't the Democratic Party call for another election? Why does it accept the results on face value when clearly they may not truly represent the will of the people of District 4? Indeed, why do not Mr. Darby and Ms Hollingshead see the injustice and support another Primary. Should either of them win in a run off without a re-run of the Primary, their legitimacy will be questioned. And a lot of black folk who voted in this election are going to continue to be disillusioned with the Party. If it is really concerned about black voters and their rights it would be acting, and not sitting on its hands. Maybe it doesn't really care as there is no Republican candidate for the November election. There will be a Democrat holding District 4 regardless of the outcome of a re-run or run off.

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