DORCHESTER COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – The process of counting mail-in ballots in Dorchester County will begin Wednesday morning after over 14,000 ballots were unable to be scanned due to a printing error.
The original idea of printing over the top of the ballots to make the time markings thicker was unsuccessful. Todd Billman, the executive director of Dorchester County Elections says the South Carolina Election Commission was unable to proceed with that potential solution.
Now, workers will have to manually enter each of the 14,262 mail-in ballots in Dorchester County.
Two-person teams will work to enter the votes. Each team will have the original mail-in ballot and a ballot card like you would see voting in person. The ballot card will be a duplicate and will be fed into a ballot marking device. One person will be reading the selections from the mail-in ballot and the other person will enter them into the machine. Each ballot will be reviewed by the team as well as a third worker to ensure accuracy.
Billman says the process will take as long as it needs to but he will have a better estimate of the timeline after about four hours of this manual process.
The number of workers participating will be staggered throughout the day. Billman says they will begin with a few teams to get the process going and he will increase the number of workers throughout the day.
UPDATE: Dorchester County election officials say they will release 500 to 600 votes every 2 hours until all mail-in absentee ballots are counted.