Democratic Runoff Tuesday in Seventh Congressional District

Posted on: Fri, 06/22/2012 - 16:09 By: cwhitmire

COLUMBIA, SC (June 22, 2012) - For the first time, the S.C. State Election Commission (SEC) has clear direction from the Court on how to deal with votes cast for candidates who have withdrawn from a race after ballots have been prepared.

The SEC has had a long-standing policy that votes for withdrawn candidates are not counted for the purpose of determining a majority vote in a primary.  This policy was based primarily on the plain language of the applicable state law (S.C. Code of Laws §7-17-610), which says that majority is determined "by dividing the total vote cast for all candidates by two," and that anything in excess of that sum is a majority.

Candidate Ted Vick formally withdrew his candidacy for the 7th Congressional District on May 29, 2012. With only two weeks remaining before the Primaries, it was not feasible to remove Vick's name from the ballot.  Vick's name remained on Democratic Primary ballots, and votes were cast for Vick.  According to the SEC's long-standing policy on application of the statute, Vick's votes were not to be counted in determining majority as he was no longer a candidate. The SEC believed it would be unfair and improper to change this policy set by precedent in the middle of the election process.

Today, the Court clearly addressed this situation, and the SEC will follow the Court's ruling from hereafter unless there is a legislative change or there are further court rulings.  The SEC will meet today to re-certify the results of the 7th Congressional District Democratic Primary (attached) and officially order the Runoff.

The SEC and county election commissions have been working to prepare for a Democratic Runoff in the event it was ordered by the Court.  Election officials are now making final preparations for the Republican and Democratic Runoffs to be held next Tuesday, June 26, 2012. The Democratic Runoff is between Preston Brittain and Gloria Bromell Tinubu.  The Republican Runoff is between Andre Bauer and Tom Rice.

"The SEC acted in good faith in applying this long-standing policy," said Marci Andino, Executive Director of the SEC. "The SEC wanted to remain consistent and not make a change in the way it counted votes while the outcome was in dispute.  The Court has ruled, and the SEC will abide by its ruling and not appeal the decision.  In future primaries, votes cast for candidates who have formally withdrawn will be considered in the formula for determining majority.  The SEC appreciates the clarity this decision provides," she added further.

Judge Hyman's Order is attached to this post.

RESULTS - 2012 Democratic Primary for U.S. House of Representatives District 7

 

Chesterfield

Dillon

Darlington

Florence

Georgetown

Horry

Marion

Marlboro

Total

%

Preston

Brittain

(DEM)

RUNOFF

819

1,043

2,939

2,173

1,032

1,495

1,972

830

12,303

36.7%

Parnell

Diggs

(DEM)

48

136

310

300

98

259

162

93

1,406

4.2%

Harry

Pavilack

(DEM)

22

92

309

168

87

121

244

87

1,130

3.4%

Gloria

Bromell

Tinubu

(DEM)

RUNOFF

469

998

2,662

2,785

2,352

3,295

2,853

970

16,384

48.8%

Ted

Vick

(DEM)

WITHDREW

199

226

788

268

106

90

430

234

2,341

7.0%

                 

33,564

 

 

 

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Attachment Size
2012-06-22 Judge Hyman's Order.pdf 249.23 KB