Biden, Harris Left Off First Sample Ballot In South Carolina
COLUMBIA, S.C. – Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris have been added to sample ballots in South Carolina after initially being left off the voter education pieces.
The sample ballots were made public Thursday, and shortly thereafter accusations began to fly that the Republican-controlled South Carolina Election Commission had purposefully left the Democrats off the ballot in an effort to confuse voters.
The situation was brought to light by Charleston, S.C.’s, Post and Courier newspaper, which had been alerted to the situation by a tipster.
State Democratic Party Chairman Trav Robertson later tweeted a photo of the state party’s letter, dated Sept 3., stating it had formally certified Biden and Harris as its candidates. The letter was stamped “received” by the Election Commission the same day.
In his tweet, Robertson said, “The deadline for certifying our nominee for president is September 8. We have complied with the statutes and laws of SC. The Election Commission should not have released a sample ballot until the deadline passed.”
Members of the commission are appointed by Gov. Henry McMaster, an ardent backer of President Donald Trump.
Trump and running mate Mike Pence were included on the sample ballots, along with candidates for the Green, Alliance and Libertarian parties.
Chris Whitmire, a spokesman for the Elections Commission,
said the Democratic Party nominees were not featured on the sample ballot up until Thursday afternoon because the Democratic Party had not yet certified its presidential candidates to the SEC.
“Candidates are added to the candidate tracking system and, in turn, to online sample ballots as parties certify the candidates to the SEC and county boards of voter registration and elections,” he said. “The deadline is noon, September 8. The party was well aware that the candidates were not featured on the website, and that we needed the certification letter for that to happen.
“It is unclear why the Democratic Party waited more than two weeks to certify their candidates,” he added.
Whitmire stressed in an email to The Well News that the sample ballot from which Biden and Harris were excluded was not sent out to anyone.
“We never print and send out sample ballots,” explained.
However, the sample ballot could be viewed by voters or anyone else via the scVotes.gov website.
“Most voters don’t look at this until closer to election day, and we don’t begin encouraging voters to look at it until closer to the election,” Whitmire said.
He went on to explain that same ballots are enabled prior to completion of ballot content to meet requirements for military and overseas citizens who may be voting with a Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot.
“This is a blank ballot allowed by federal and state law for use only by military and overseas citizens,” he explained. “The online sample ballot provides voters with information about what their ballot content is at the time they view it. Military and overseas voters voting a FWAB need this information to know what their choices are at the time of completing the FWAB.
“While most know the major presidential candidates, the sample ballot, in many cases, is the only way for one of these voters to know about other candidates, local candidates and referendum questions,” he said.”There is a disclaimer on the sample ballot that says sample ballots are made available 100 days prior to a general election, candidates can change, and to check your sample ballot closer to election day.”
In The News
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California has been a leader in restricting offshore oil drilling since the infamous 1969 Santa Barbara... Read More
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California has been a leader in restricting offshore oil drilling since the infamous 1969 Santa Barbara spill that sparked the modern environmental movement, and the latest spill off Huntington Beach is prompting fresh calls for an end to such drilling. That's easier... Read More
States will be at the helm of the $42.5 billion in block grants designated in the historic $65 billion proposed... Read More
States will be at the helm of the $42.5 billion in block grants designated in the historic $65 billion proposed for nationwide high-speed broadband within President Biden’s infrastructure bill. The broadband-related funding of the bill itself shows the federal government recognizes broadband as essential as a... Read More
Eighteen members of Congress on Wednesday announced the formation of a new Congressional Caucus whose intent is to ensure that... Read More
Eighteen members of Congress on Wednesday announced the formation of a new Congressional Caucus whose intent is to ensure that the priorities and concerns of cities and counties across America are heard on Capitol Hill. The bipartisan Congressional Caucus of Former Local Elected Officials was formed... Read More
Thirty-five states are at extreme or high risk of partisan gerrymandering, according to an in-depth report by the nonpartisan RepresentUs... Read More
Thirty-five states are at extreme or high risk of partisan gerrymandering, according to an in-depth report by the nonpartisan RepresentUs organization. The Gerrymandering Threat Index rates all 50 states, and its authors argue their findings underscore the urgent need to pass the redistricting reforms within the... Read More
WASHINGTON - A bipartisan bill to extend the Paycheck Protection Program to May 31 is gaining support in the House... Read More
WASHINGTON - A bipartisan bill to extend the Paycheck Protection Program to May 31 is gaining support in the House and the Senate and will likely be voted on before lawmakers head back to their districts at the end of the month. The proposal to extend... Read More
WASHINGTON - It’s hard to believe it’s almost that time of year again, but on Monday came word that the... Read More
WASHINGTON - It’s hard to believe it’s almost that time of year again, but on Monday came word that the peak bloom for the cherry blossoms ringing the Tidal Basin in Washington is currently expected to occur April 2-5. That means the most vivid of blooms... Read More