Voter mix-up caused Election Day confusion

(Scott Garrand/WCIV)

By Eric

SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCIV) -- While the polls closed at 7 p.m. Tuesday, there were election workers counting ballots well into Wednesday morning.

The high volume of votes provided much voter interest and, as you might expect, each voter wanted their ballot to count.

That included a father and daughter in Summerville who had an unusual experience at the polls. It all started when the father showed up to vote and was told he already had.

"I came to vote like everybody else and they said, "Well, you've already voted,'" said Charles Allen.

Allen, a military veteran, reported to Dorchester Presbyterian Church to exercise his right. Apparently, he says, someone else had done it for him.

"As far as I'm concerned, it calls into questioned the whole system," said Allen.

Allen said because his name was already listed as having voted, he was told he could vote using his daughter's name instead. The confusion continued when Christina Allen tried to cast her ballot and was told to complete a provisional ballot.

"I didn't spend 20 years defending this country to have someone tell me that they can just throw anybody's name in there and vote," Allen said. "How the heck can that be done?"

Joshua Dickard, executive director of Dorchester County Elections, said the poll worker instructing the Allens did make an error, likely mistaking another voter's signature for that of Charles Allen.

"What should have happened (is) they figure out who signed on that page and line number, found that voter in the system, updated the gentlemen that was standing there, and let the daughter vote under her name," Dickard said.

Dickard said the handwritten provisional was filled out to not disrupt the machine count.

He admits it was not the right procedure, but assures Allen his voted counted.

"I can guarantee that everybody who has legally registered to vote in Dorchester County, their vote will count," said Dickard. "I have no concerns his vote won't be counted."

Regardless of the software issues earlier in the night, Dorchester County finished tallying all votes, including absentees, by 2 a.m.