The protest by candidate Mark Lazarus of the certification of the election results for the primary runoff election for Horry County Council Chairman will be heard at 6 p.m. Thursday July 7, 2022, by the Executive Committee of the Horry County Republican Party.
The protest brief, prepared by attorney Butch Bowers of Columbia, appears to be an amalgam of speculation and supposition rather than a protest based on hard facts.
At issue are 1377 absentee ballots sent to Republican voters. According to the Horry County Voter Registration and Elections Department, Democratic ballots were initially sent to the Republican voters. When the mistake was discovered, Republican ballots were sent.
According to the protest brief, 140 of those absentee ballots were received by the county elections office prior to close of polls on election day. Those ballots were included in the vote totals of the primary runoff election for county chairman.
State law is quite specific, absentee ballots must be checked that the ballots were signed by the voter to whom issued and witnessed by a different person with the witness address included with the ballot. In addition, only absentee ballots received by a county election office prior to close of polls on election day may be counted in vote totals, according to state law section 7-15-420.
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