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Election 2012: New vote possible in School Board District 6

By Jason Lesley
Coastal Observer

Peggy Wheeler-Cribb will protest the results of Tuesday’s election in School Board District 6 after learning that 270 voters in Murrells Inlet were placed in the wrong election district.

Board member Billy Altman of Murrells Inlet called the problem to the attention of the Georgetown County Board of Elections and Registration Friday. He discovered the ballot problem on Election Day and instructed poll managers to provide the correct school board ballot to voters but said he could not be sure how many were fixed. He estimated that about 30 voters had their ballots adjusted at the Murrells Inlet 2 poll, leaving the potential of 240 voters with the wrong ballot.

“I have not slept for two nights,” Altman said at Friday’s meeting of the board following its certification of the election results.

Before certification, Richard Kerr gained one additional vote from a provisional ballot and held a 21-vote lead on Wheeler-Cribb, 1,723 to 1,702.

“This sounds really big,” Altman said of the total number of incorrect ballots. “The only thing I can offer that might reduce the effect was that only 31 percent of voters in Murrells Inlet 2 voted in the school board race. You could rationalize that 74 votes were affected and Cribb would need 62 percent of those to change the result of the race.”

Elections board chairman Dean Smith asked if it was possible that those voters could have changed the outcome.

It’s possible, Altman said.,

Cribb has until noon Nov. 14 to file her protest. It would be heard Nov. 19. Appeals would follow.

Should Tuesday’s result be overturned, a new election would be ordered for the six precincts that make up School Board District at the county’s expense.

“All this results from redistricting,” Altman said.

Murrells Inlet 2 precinct was split between School Board Districts 1 and 6. Sarah Elliott was unopposed in District 1. Though the final vote total could be changed, there is no person of standing to protest.

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