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Security Feature Prevented Voting Machines from Opening in Some Horry County Precincts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - January 19, 2008

COLUMBIA, SC-Voting machines are now available to voters in all 118 Horry County precincts.  Some voters cast paper ballots today in 15-20 precincts because voting machines were not ready to accept votes.  This issue was due to a human error in preparing the machines for the primary. 

Before every election, all voting machines are tested to make sure they are operating correctly.  One way this is done is by casting test votes on the machine to be sure it is recording them accurately.  The final step in this process is to perform a "clear and test" procedure.  This resets the test votes recorded on the machine to zero.  Without performing this measure, the voting system will not allow machines to be opened for voting on election day.  Horry County voting machine technicians worked throughout the morning and early afternoon to visit these affected precincts and perform this procedure.

South Carolina's voting system has performed today as it was designed to perform.  As with any system, its performance is dependent on election officials following proper operating procedures.  The State Election Commission will continue to improve our education and training of election officials throughout the state in an effort to improve the conduct of elections.

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