Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Bobby Harrell got 4,178 votes in election despite being ineligible

State Supreme Court allowed election to move ahead at last minute

Posted by Sam Spence on Wed, Nov 5, 2014 at 3:19 PM

No matter how many voters cast their ballots for Bobby Harrell yesterday, he wasn't going to win. But almost 40 percent of voters in House District 114 did just that. According to unofficial results released by the State Election Commission, 4,178 people voted for Harrell, while Democrat Mary Tinkler received 5,391 votes.

The former House speaker formally withdrew from the race on Oct. 23 after pleading guilty to ethics violations and entering a plea agreement that required him to resign and not seek office again for three years. After his withdrawal, election officials said that Harrell's name would remain on the ballot, but since he was not a "viable candidate," any votes for him would not count.

Not counting Harrell's votes, unofficial results show Tinkler pulled in more than 82 percent of the vote. But when considering the total number of votes cast, Tinkler only squeaked by with a 50.54 percent majority, according to the unofficial results. Green Party candidate Sue Edward got 986 votes and 128 voters wrote in another candidate of their choosing. District 114 covers parts of Charleston and Dorchester Counties. The State Election Commission will likely certify the results, without Harrell, by the end of the week.

The State Supreme Court is still set to consider the case brought by state Republicans that would have blocked Tuesday's District 114 election, but that may not happen until next month, according to the Post and Courier. The suit alleges that Harrell's withdrawal should have required a special election to be called instead of moving forward with the Nov. 4 election.

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