Race to count absentee mail-in ballots in Dorchester County continues on Thursday

Dorchester County News

DORCHESTER COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – Work continues to count thousands of mail-in absentee ballots in Dorchester County.

A printing error is forcing more than 14,000 of those ballots to be counted by hand and manually entered into a device.

Election officials say the process is going to take some teamwork, but they’re willing to go 24-hours straight to meet the upcoming deadline if they must.

The printing issue stems from the size of the timing mark on the ballots.

Small dashes printed at the top of the ballots are the wrong size, which means the scanning machines cannot read them.

Workers are forced to manually county the 14,262 ballots in teams of two.

“All votes that have been cast by mail will be counted, just the process in which they will be done and how quickly they’ll be done will just take longer than normal,” said Todd Billman, Executive Director for Dorchester County Elections.

State election officials say the issue only happened with mail-in ballots in Dorchester County.

The county says they will release 500 to 600 votes every two hours until all are counted. You can see those updates on our election results page by clicking here.

“Basically, what we’re doing is, we’re starting with a small group of workers, seeing how long that process takes and then what we’re doing is maximizing or utilizing more workers as we proceed,” explained Billman.

The ballots must be counted by 10:00 a.m. on Friday.

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