Friday, November 16, 2012
The votes in the Georgetown County School Board District 6 race were recounted Wednesday morning and Richard Kerr gained one vote giving him a 1,724 - 1,702 lead over Peggy Wheeler-Cribb.
Both are trying to win the Waccamaw Neck seat that was held by Teresa Bennani who did not seek a second term.
Cribb has protested the results and is seeking a new election.
In a letter delivered to the County Board of Elections Wednesday, Cribb said a new election needs to be held because as many as 270 ballots were sent to the wrong poll on Election Day.
A hearing will be held at 10 a.m. Monday for Cribb to present her argument for a new election.
Kerr, who said he feels is the winner of the race, said he will appeal if the board grants a new election.
Twenty one votes.
When the votes were tallied last week, that is all that separated Richard Kerr and Peggy Wheeler-Cribb, the two candidates running for the Georgetown County School Board District 6 seat.
Because of the closeness of the race, a mandatory recount was expected to take place Monday but a computer glitch caused the recount to be delayed until 10 a.m. today.
No matter what the recount shows, Cribb — who received 1,702 votes while Kerr received 1,723 — says she is asking for a new election because of problems at the polls on election day.
She said she was told as many as 270 voters who live in that district who could have voted in that race did not get the chance to do so because the race did not appear on their ballot.
Donna Mahn, the county’s election director, confirmed there were some problems with ballots in those precincts.
When asked if the problem impacted at least 21 voters, Mahn said she could not comment on that question since the outcome is being challenged.
Not only did Cribb and Kerr lose potential votes, Cribb said she was told the race did appear on some ballots in the District 5 area.
She also said she was told by one voter who lives in Maryville that he voted for her. Mahn said there is nothing to indicate the District 6 race appeared in any precincts other than on the Waccamaw Neck.
If Cribb submits her request for a new election today, as she says she will, the county Board of Elections will hold a meeting Monday
to hear arguments and will decide if a new election is warranted, Mahn said.
If the board grants a new election, Kerr can appeal that decision to the state which would likely not hear arguments until December. If the state decides a new election is needed, it likely will not take place until sometime in February at the earliest.
Kerr said he does not believe the problem was big enough to change the outcome of the election.
He was at Tuesday’s board meeting but was not sworn in.
Incumbents Elery Little, Sandra Johnson, Zelma Carr and Sarah Elliott were all sworn in to new terms.
The board will operate with eight members until situation is resolved.
By Scott Harper
South Strand News is pleased to offer readers the enhanced ability to comment on stories. We expect our readers to engage in lively, yet civil discourse. We do not edit user submitted statements and we cannot promise that readers will not occasionally find offensive or inaccurate comments posted in the comments area. Responsibility for the statements posted lies with the person submitting the comment, not South Strand News.