The State Election Commission has formally overturned last month’s election for Chester County supervisor, another step toward scheduling a new election.
Shane Stuart, a petition candidate for county supervisor, filed an appeal after he lost to incumbent Carlisle Roddey by 230 votes. Ten precincts were missing some proper ballot styles that included some local races, which forced some voters to cast either a provisional ballot or go to the county election office, and once there the commission found they were not provided with a secure place to fill out their ballot in secret.
In an order dated Monday, the commission cites multiple problems with the Nov. 4 election, including “a lack of paper ballots; a failure for electronic voting machines to have a correct and proper ballot; seven precincts turning away registered voters and denying them the right to vote due to improper ballots and no ballot available to use to exercise the right to vote; no secrecy of the ballot; and failure for voters to sign and affirm the voter’s oath before casting their ballot.”
Stuart felt vindicated the state board had supported his allegations, saying he knew something “didn’t add up” on Election Day.
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“People kept contacting me on social media saying something was going on, and I kept telling them, ‘Report it to the Election Commission,’ ” he said Thursday.
The commission noted that Stuart promptly filed his notice challenging the election result with both Roddey and the county election office.
As of Thursday afternoon, Roddey said he had not received a copy of the commission’s order, but he said he is ready to go forward with a fresh vote.
“I’ll do what I’ve done all my life, which is go out and win,” Roddey said.
A date for the new election will be set by Gov. Nikki Haley within 75 to 90 days – which likely would schedule the election in February or March. She has 10 days to issue an order doing so.
The commission voted to overturn the election result at its Dec. 1 meeting and ordered the county to hold a new election. It wasn’t until this week that the board issued a written order, outlining the legal reasons for its decision.
Roddey has 10 days from the date of the order to appeal to the state Supreme Court, but he has said he doesn’t plan to appeal and he hadn’t asked the county board of canvassers to do so.
“They made the boo-boo, not me,” Roddey said. “Now I have to suffer the consequences.”
Stuart said he was looking forward to getting a date set for the new election, and getting past the problems that led county voters back to the polls in the first place.
“I don’t want to focus on the negative,” he said. “I’m ready to move Chester County forward.”