Making Democracy Work

An Audit of the November 2012 Election Results in South Carolina

Election Audit 2012

An Audit of the November 2012 Election Results in South Carolina

Dr. Duncan Buell performed an audit on results from the Nov. 6, 2012, General Election in Richland County. He consulted with the Richland County Board of Elections and Voter Registration in their investigation of problems that arose on Election Day. He co-chairs the LWVSC Election Technology Taskforce.

The election in Richland County on November 6, 2012, saw very long lines and a large number of voters who voted after closing time. The county election commission contracted with an attorney for a report on the election. In part to provide an analysis and numerical data as to what happened on Election Day, Duncan Buell ran his programs against the Richland County election data. These three reports are the initial results of that analysis. Although there is some significant overlap, they are not merely versions of the same report because different issues arose as the data were being studied. Further study is being conducted, and comparisons against the rest of South Carolina will be forthcoming.

The main caveat to be observed in reading these reports is that the numbers do not tell the whole story. Although there were too few voting terminals in use on Election Day, and this almost certainly contributed to the long lines, there are instances that show that this is not the only factor to be looked at. Springville Precinct in Richland County is a large precinct, with a large number of votes cast on Election Day, but only one vote after closing time. And the initial look at data statewide shows that Greenville County had more votes per voting terminal than did Richland, but only a tiny number of votes after closing.

A statewide study is being conducted and will be posted when a report has been prepared by Dr. Buell.