Voters in South Carolina’s special House election are expressing confusion because Elizabeth Colbert Busch appears on the ballot twice.
WCBD-TV in Charleston is reporting,
Many voters are asking questions about why Elizabeth Colbert-Busch is on the ballot twice. She is on the ballot once as the candidate for the Democrat Party and again as the candidate for the Working Families Party.
Joseph Debney, the Director of Election for Charleston County, says any candidate who qualifies to be on the ballot as the candidate for more than one party can do so, however , the candidate can only receive one voter per voter, “voters can only vote for her one time. You can only get one vote in this election. Those votes together will be tallied for her, so she’ll get the totals for the Democratic and the Working Families nomination.”
Debney says one reason more people may be asking questions about this election is because this is a special election, and only one candidate is on the ballot multiple times. He says in past elections, even at the Presidential level, multiple candidates have been on the ballot more than once.
Notice that it is okay for Colbert Busch to be on the ballot twice, but voters can only vote for her once. If a voter checks her name twice, their vote will be disqualified. This might be legal in South Carolina, but it certainly looks like a way for votes for Colbert Busch to be thrown out.
The election tonight should be close. Polling shows a statistical tie Sanford and Busch. If even a handful of Colbert Busch voters have their ballots tossed because they voted for her twice, that could be enough to swing this election to Sanford.
Mark Sanford has erased a nine point deficit in a week. The heavily Republican district is naturally tilted towards him, but this sort of confusion will only help the unpopular Sanford win.