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Technical glitches delay recount in 2nd District Democratic primary

Arik Bjorn (on left) and Phil Black
Arik Bjorn (on left) and Phil Black

Librarian Arik Bjorn and semi-retired hardware store owner Phil Black must wait until Saturday to learn which of them will face veteran U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson, R-Springdale, in the Nov. 8 general election.

Technical glitches and missing data from polling machines in Richland County delayed a recount of votes from the 2nd District Democratic primary on Friday.

The S.C. Election Commission could not verify votes from Richland County on Friday night. The commission plans to certify the final results of the recount Saturday, spokesman Chris Whitmire said.

Richland County Elections Commission Director Sam Selph said no votes were lost when absentee voter data from 21 voting machines became corrupted during the recount yesterday.

Batteries powering the Personal Electronic Ballots that hold that data died yesterday during the recount, corrupting the data, Selph said. The equipment had to be taken “back to the warehouse” Friday night to retrieve the data, he said.

Bjorn had a 49-vote lead over Black on Tuesday night, but the margin of 0.3 percent with more than 19,000 votes counted was within the 1 percent required for a recount.

Avery G. Wilks: 803-771-8362, @averygwilks

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