Dorchester County to resume count after mail-in ballot printing error

Dorchester County to resume count after mail-in ballot printing error
Dorchester County election officials say a printing error with the county's mail-in ballots will delay vote counts for approximately 13,500 ballots. (Source: Live 5)

SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCSC) - Dorchester County election officials say they will resume counting after discovering a printing error on mail-in ballots that has delayed the count.

The problem was discovered after election officials began attempting to count mail-in ballots Tuesday morning, Dorchester County Election Commission Executive Director Todd Billman said.

The issue is that timing marks printed on the ballots were printed too small, meaning that electronic readers are having trouble processing the ballots.

They say the issue will not prevent votes from being counted but said it will take longer for the ballots to be counted.

The Election Commission will be onsite to begin scanning mail-in ballots at 8 a.m. Wednesday morning.

Dorchester County election officials say a printing error is causing problems in reading mail-in ballot votes. The row of little black lines, known as timing marks, in the top example were printed too thin and the voting machines couldn’t read the mail in ballots. The bottom example is what the black lines should look like.
Dorchester County election officials say a printing error is causing problems in reading mail-in ballot votes. The row of little black lines, known as timing marks, in the top example were printed too thin and the voting machines couldn’t read the mail in ballots. The bottom example is what the black lines should look like. (Source: Live 5)

“We will make sure your vote counts and is counted accurately,” Billman said.

Approximately 15,000 ballots went out to Dorchester County voters and approximately 13,500 have been received, he said. This is about 13% of registered voters in Dorchester County.

Billman also said the vendor who printed Dorchester County’s mail-in ballots printed ballots for other counties, but said they have learned that Dorchester County is the only one affected by the printing problem.

Dorchester County officials says all mail-in absentee ballots have been locked over night and SLED is there to monitor the building.

Dorchester County and the Election Commission have not shared how long they expect the mail-in ballot counting to take Wednesday.

They still expect the counts to be complete by the time votes are due to be certified on Friday morning.

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