Vote Count Delayed by Printing Error in South Carolina County

Vote Count Delayed by Printing Error in South Carolina County
Voters cast their ballots in the voting booths at the early vote location at the Charleston Coliseum and Convention Center in North Charleston, South Carolina, on Oct. 16, 2020. (Logan Cyrus/AFP via Getty Images)
Caden Pearson

A South Carolina county has delayed the counting of more than 13,000 votes after ballots were incorrectly printed without the proper “trimming marks” that enable scanners to detect the votes.

Dorchester County election commissioner Todd Billman said that the error wouldn’t affect anyone’s vote.

“This issue will not prevent any vote from being counted,” Billman said. “All it will do is take it a little longer to get your ballet to count.”

Billman would not say how long it might take, but Friday is the deadline to certify ballots.

The problematic ballots will be copied by election workers and manually entered into an election machine once the regular votes have been counted, The Associated Press reported.

The new votes will be checked against the original ballots to make sure that they match, Billman said.

Results in the U.S. House races between Rep. Joe Cunningham (D-S.C.) and Republican challenger Nancy Mace, as well as Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) and Republican challenger John McCollum, may both be delayed by the scanning problem.

The same company that improperly printed the Dorchester County ballots also printed others across South Carolina, but Billman and state election officials said no other counties were affected.

As of late Tuesday, President Donald Trump had won South Carolina with 57 percent of the votes, compared to former Vice President Joe Biden who trailed behind with 40 percent.

Preliminary results as of midnight via The Associated Press showed that Trump has won Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, West Virginia, and South Carolina—states he won in 2016.

Biden has won Washington, Oregon, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Illinois, Virginia, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Delaware, and Maryland, the news agency determined. These were states that Hillary Clinton had won in 2016.

Mimi Nguyen Ly and The Associated Press contributed to this report.