January 19th, 2008
04:38 PM ET
10 years ago

McCain seeking to extend South Carolina poll hours

 McCain is seeking to keep some polling stations open.

McCain is seeking to keep some polling stations open.

CONWAY, South Carolina (CNN) – Sen. John McCain’s presidential campaign sought to expand polling hours in an eastern county plagued by malfunctioning voting machines Saturday that forced some people to use any scrap of paper to vote in the Republican presidential primary.

State Rep. Tracey Edge, R-Myrtle Beach, said the campaign was trying to find a circuit court judge to issue the ruling.

"We are seeking an order to extend the voting time, because of reported and publicized information that people were turned away from the polls,” Edge said.

All polls in the South Carolina Republican Primary are scheduled to close at 7 p.m. ET. Complicating matters for McCain is that the county has one resident circuit court judge, who they have not yet been able to reach. McCain did very well in Horry County when he ran for president in 2000.

The McCain campaign was also telling supporters residing in this county to make sure their vote was counted.

Lisa Bourcier, public information for Horry County, said that 80 percent of the voting machines were back on-line as of 1:30 p.m. ET. Bourcier said that 80 percent of the 118 precincts in this county, that hugs the coastline, were affected by the machine outages.

The problem with the machines was due to human error, she said. Bourcier explained that the final step in preparing the machines is a “clearing test,” that resets the machine data to 0. This was not done on most of the machines, she said, essentially locking them and thus making them unable to function.

As of 4 p.m. ET, there are approximately four remaining precincts with no working machine. Bourcier said that they are waiting to see if the polls will need to remain open and noted that 40 to 50 extra people will be brought in tonight to hand count the ballots.

Earlier in the day, Katon Dawson, chairman of the South Carolina Republican Party, said that he had confidence that the voting problems would be fixed.

“We expect a full and fair count,” Dawson said in a telephone interview with CNN. “In South Carolina, our citizens take the right to vote very seriously. We have full confidence in our state elections commission, which is running this primary. Any questions that have arisen are being addressed.”

Dawson noted that “there is always a backup in case there is an election machine malfunction and a ballot can’t be cast.”

The South Carolina primary is considered a critical contest on the road to the GOP presidential nomination.

- CNN’s Lisa Desjardins and Mark Preston

Filed under: John McCain • South Carolina
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. Tom Davie

    dear CNN.

    I am proud of you. I know you have to sell headlines, but I think you and your 'experts' go TOO FAR in trying to HYPE Obama instead of being neutral.

    This headline here makes it fair as the headlines for african american vote for Obama.

    Thankyou CNN. I was beginning to lose faith that you were neutral.

    January 19, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  2. Romney is Improvement

    Mitt's solid credentials in business, family and political leadership won for him in Nevada today! Congrats Mitt and best of luck in SoCarolina and Florida. I do hope people vote on the issues and your ability to improve how our government functions! We want a leader who will do the right thing for the right reasons!

    January 19, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  3. John, Boston MA

    The only reason SC is supposedly such an important contest is because the media has made it so. Who gives a 'blank' about SC? Anything there anybody else in the U.S. should consider? What a joke. Any Republican candidate will carry the South – it doesn't matter who. So who cares who this Southern state supports? Undoubtedly it will be close enough to make the 'win' virtually meaningless in delegate count. All the media cares about are WINS. But as far as the Republican contest goes, ... look at delegates so see who the front-runner really is.

    January 19, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  4. Steve

    "Mitt's solid credentials in business, family and political leadership won for him in Nevada today!"

    Not to mention the fact no one else cared.

    January 19, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  5. Workingman

    Won't help him.

    January 19, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  6. Jeremiah Grant, Phoenix, AZ

    What kind of sham is this on the part of McAmnesty? He wants to extend voting hours in a county he's projected to do very well in. Once again, McAmnesty takes a page out of the Democrat play book.

    WAKE UP REPUBLICANS! – McAmnesty IS NO CONSERVATIVE. Just look at the exit polls. He can't win conservative voters. How on earth is that supposed to excite the base in November?

    I find it laughable that John says "I know how to fix borders. I'm from a border state." Huh? If you know how to fix them, why haven't you done anything about them? More illegals cross into the US in AZ than any other state in the nation.

    He flipped his finger to the 1st Amendment with that garbage McCain-Feingold legislation he wrote with the Left

    He co-authored the biggest amnesty bill ever with that drunk from the left.....but now wants to flip-flop on that and play word games.

    He voted against the federal ban on gay marriage.

    He voted against the Bush tax cuts twice...but now wants to flip-flop on that issue as well.

    He cost the GOP control of the Senate with that despicable Gang of 14 crap. He wants to tell you how he'll put conservative judges in place and yet he was the ring leader of the very undoing of Bush's attempts to put conservative judges in place.

    Again I say, McAmnesty is no true conservative. The GOP can't trust him.

    January 19, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  7. whatsitToyou

    Well I do hope every vote gets counted..but I have to say that McLame is getting a little scared right about now! Somehow I don't see him as frontrunner as CNN would like!

    January 19, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  8. Jonathan, UT

    I wonder if Nevada will influence SC at all. Romney crushed everybody else, and Ron Paul might just beat out McCain for 2nd place.

    I don't understand why media will give more attention to SC than it has to Nevada. The Nevada race is bigger.

    January 19, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  9. David - Oregon City

    America is very thankful to those voters of South Carolina that got out and supporting Mike Huckabee today. It most likely will set the stage for the rest of America to elect Mike Huckabee, President of The United States. Thank you South Carolina!

    January 19, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  10. RG

    Oh Please, Don't try to cram another Arkansan down my throught in Mike Huckabee. Talk about a liberal in a conservatives clothing. Mike should have ran against Billary for the Dems. He might have had the chance to at least win a nomination for VP to Billary.
    Take a hike Mike. Go home!

    January 19, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  11. Debra Jones

    Look what Ron Paul has done !!!!! The last time I checked, he was neck and neck with McCain. He was beating Huckabee, Thompson, and Guiliani.....I Love It.....But, no one, in the media, is talking about it.....I think that's the biggest story today.

    January 19, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  12. Jonathan, UT

    2 questions?

    1-Why isn't there any report on the possible influence of Nevada's results on voters in SC? It would be interesting, wouldn't it? I'm not one of them, but I'm sure there's a lot of Ron Paul supporters that would love their due attention. Why isn't there any report on what it means to John McCain that he just got beat by him? Will the Nevada results affect Romney at all in SC? There's a lot of interesting stuff that could be chewed on there.

    2- Why is there SO much more attention diven to the democratic race? Is there a reason? Do most of your readers vote democrat? Or do you want to give them more attention to pursuade the presidential election?

    I'd love to know.

    January 19, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  13. Oklahoma_Pol

    No one but Romney campaigned this last week in Nevada.

    The tarring of John MCain with cute nick names and asserting he is not a conservative is just wrong

    The winner of South Carolina if it is MCCain will be the GOP nominee.. If Huckabee pulls the win out, then this helps Rudy G and Romney

    Romney will never have my vote.. I dont know his real position on any issue. He is a poor mans Bill Clinton

    January 19, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  14. Jonathan, UT

    While Clinton losing the black vote has made the headlines a couple times now, no has said anything about this interesting finding....

    Of the GOP voters today in Nevada that listed Iraq as their top concern, 21% voted for McCain, while 41% voted for Romney.

    Among those that said terrorism was their #1 worry, Romney beat him AGAIN by 20% (43 to 23%).

    Why isn't there anything in the ticker about this?

    January 19, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  15. Dave W

    I'm from SC. I'd consider Huckabee or Romney if I thought either of them would do well against a Dem in November. But after considering all candidates, I think McCain has the best chance in November. Any far right candidate will be crushed in the big contest this fall. McCain seems to be a gentle Republican. He wants to be humane with the immigrant issue and he speaks his mind on all the issues. I kinda' like the way he steps out of rank with the Republican party sometimes; it means he's his own man – just what I want for a President.
    So, I voted for McCain.

    January 19, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  16. Ashlea

    So sorry you people in MA are so provincial.

    January 19, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  17. Economy, Romney

    Economy Romney yells out JOBS JOBS JOBS and I warm up to him.

    Rudy is a has been.

    McCain wants a war but I need a job not a war.

    McCain sounds like he is ready to blame the weather, only his voters couldn't make it cause they all over 80 yrs old.

    January 19, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  18. what_da_ell???

    I'm still an undecided voter but, with a wins in Wyoming, Michigan, and Nevada and 3 times as many delegates as any other republican candidate, why isn't Romney the front runner? Its interesting to me how the media is able to curve the discussion with bogus headlines and selective reporting.

    January 19, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  19. Lee

    Wouldn't it be something if McCain's supporters in Horry County can't vote because of machine glitches and they don't come back to vote later? And what if the snow in the northern counties Huckabee is counting on causes low turnout there? Could Romney pull off an upset in a state he actualy ceded to McCain during his victory speach in Michigan?? I doubt it, but if it happened that would be something. It would be even bigger than Romney's landslide over everyone in Nevada.

    January 19, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  20. Mike

    Romney promises to bring back jobs in obsolete factories – he knows a lot about shutting down factories and putting profits ahead of jobs like AMPAD. Or the Damon Co. Medicare fraud machine that Romney changed his story on like the YOUTUBE on last entry... the truth is a concept they don't teach at Harvard, it comes from within and Mitt is empty in that area

    January 19, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  21. Mario

    insane McCain the old fart doesn't like it when things don't go his way. SC is needed for the presidency, but it doesn't mean that the winner in that state will be president all the time, We just couldn't have that old fart to be our next president. that is a scarry thought!

    Go Mitt!

    January 19, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  22. Mike

    Florida is a good place for Romney, there is a lot of swamplands to sell... he's done with the bridges in Michigan after promising to bring back jobs at the Horse n' Buggy factory – next stop USED CARS on super Tuesday

    January 19, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  23. G


    January 19, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  24. G


    January 19, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  25. Eric in SLC

    "Economy Romney yells out JOBS JOBS JOBS and I warm up to him."

    Haha. Thankfully most independents care more about action than words. Romney has a strong record of checking polls and telling people what they want to hear.

    Romney claims to be fiscally minded, but blamed McCain for rejecting tax cuts that were not balanced by spending cuts. So Romney would let the debt grow.

    Romney has agreed that mass deportation is not a solution to illegal immigration, that McCain's plan was reasonable and was not amnesty. But his complaints show that Romney would let the problem grow to avoid political risk.

    Thank you SC. We need consensus solutions in DC rather than more deadlock and division. We need someone who truly cares more about the next generation than himself.

    January 19, 2008 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |