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Vote tally in District 1 County Council race raises questions
A Column by the Editor
posted November 7, 2008
COLUMN – Tuesday’s elections were
historical with the United States electing its first bi-racial
president, Democrat Barack Hussein Obama. But history was not reserved
only for the national election; County Council District 1 seems to have
made some history of its own by casting almost a third of all ballots
cast in the county council races. That is incredible and curious as all
county council districts contain approximately the same population,
5,000 people, and the other districts contain 80% of the population.
18-year incumbent Democrat Norman Dorn defeated newcomer
Trace Faust by 377 votes with a total 2,613
ballots cast. The results
are unofficial until certified. However, with over 2,600 votes cast it
shows that over half of the total population in District 1, comprised
of men, women and children, showed up at the polls. According to US
Census figures, children make up almost 29% of the population in
Edgefield County which would mean that roughly 1,450 of the 5,000
people in District 1 are under the age of 18 and ineligible to vote.
Taking that into consideration, the adult population of District 1
would statistically be 3,550 and of those 74% would have had to cast a
ballot in order to reach the vote totals reported.
To say that 74% of registered voters in a district turned out to vote
is one thing, but to say that 74% of the total population voted is
another. Especially when, statistically, 29% of the
population is under the age of 18 leaving only 71% of the population
eligible to even
register to vote.
Add into this equation the fact that anyone convicted of a felony that
is serving a prison sentence, been released after serving time but on
parole, or has not completed the requirements of their release are also
not allowed to vote.
Another interesting fact is that voter registration lists provided to
campaign volunteers resulted in them reporting finding dozens of dead
people in each of the
precincts of District 1 voters still listed on voter rolls. Reason
would tell us they did not cast a ballot.
But there are historical records that also seem to subject the number
of ballots cast into question.
District 1 does not show a history of high voter numbers. In the 2000
General Election only 1,111 voted in the county council race. In the
2004 General Election 1,712 turned out to vote. But in 2008 a
remarkable 2,615 voters cast a ballot.
Admittedly some would say that new voter registrations might account
for the skewed numbers. However, Edgefield County increased its voter
rolls by around 1% before the election. That increase would do little
to explain the huge increase in voters.
Conversely, County Council District 5 - which historically turns out a
larger percentage of registered voters than other districts, and has
seen the seat change hands four times in challenges, (Kitchens, Bishop,
Hudson, and now Blackwell) - pales to the numbers posted in District 1
with less than 2,000 voters casting a ballot in the county council race
this year. In 2004 there were 1,614 votes cast in the county council
race and 1,949 voting this year. Not to mention that Merriwether is the
most densely populated district in the county and the most active in
the political process.
Records show that 11,625 Edgefield County voters turned out to
the polls this election, less than half of the 25,000
population. 9,679 voted in all five county council races. The numbers
just don’t add up.
In full disclosure, the count of registered voters in District 1 has
not been obtained from the Voter Registration Office due to their work
continuing to certify the election results. The records used for this
opinion column are based on published election results, US Census
figures, and other government records.
original material is property of
EdgefieldDaily.com and cannot be reproduced, rewritten or redistributed
without the expressed written permission of Edgefield Daily.com
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