SC voters turned away due to redrawn district lines

By: Gene Petriello Email
By: Gene Petriello Email

News 12 First at 5, Sept. 18, 2007

BELVEDERE, S.C.--There's confusion at one polling place for today's South Carolina District 25 Republican Primary. It's at Nancy Carson Library. That's where voters from the 9th precinct are supposed to vote. But only a handful can cast their ballots.

David Brunson came out to do his constitutional duty: vote in the special Republican Primary Election for Senate District 25. He lives in Precinct 9 which covers Belvedere.

There's one problem: he can't vote. Not because he doesn't want to, but when he went to cast his vote, he found out here's not in District 25 anymore.

"The citizens don't know what's going on and we get here and only 5 people -- get that 5 people -- are allowed to vote and that's it. So what are you going to do?"

David isn't the only one confused. Another voter says, "I vote here every year."

The problem: in 2004, the State redrew Senate District lines. Normally when that happens in a precinct, it's divided evenly. But not this time. Only 5 can vote; the rest are part of Senate District 24.

"Out of approximately 1500 voters, only 5 of them are in Senate District 25 and are eligible to vote in this election," says Exec. Director of Regulations and Elections Commission Stuart Bedendaugh.

David's upset. Not just because he can't vote, but for the candidates, too.

"They need to be aware of where the voting lines are so they don't waste their money that people have given to them," says David.

And even with only 5 people voting, officials say they can't just pick up those people. It's up to the voter to cast their ballet.

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