Dems argue about oddities in South Carolina Democratic Senate Primary

Personally I think that Democrats are really reaching new absurd levels in challenging this 18 percentage point victory. It should be noted that when there is little chance of a candidate winning in the general election people don't pay a lot of attention to the race.

But the election data showed that Greene fared worse in absentee voting than election day, when he performed at least 20 percent better in 10 counties and 43 percent in one, Ludwig said.

In another county, Rawl won the absentee vote count, 80 to 20 percent, but went on to lose to Greene by a margin of 60 to 40 percent, Ludwig said, adding that in other state races, the differences between absentee ballots and election day votes were very small and could be explained away by chance.

In that county of Lancaster, Greene received 81 absentee ballots compared to 424 for Rawl, according to the certified results. On Election Day, Rawl won the county with 1,026 votes to Greene's 944. But if the absentee ballots are subtraced, Greene received 861 votes to Rawl's 602. . . .

People who go out of their way to get an absentee ballot are probably more likely on average to be informed about an election. If true in this case, that by itself could explain the difference in absentee and those who went to the polls. With absentee ballots, people can look up the campaigns on the internet and see that Greene didn't really have a campaign to speak of.

A second irregularity that Rawl's campaign found was that Greene got more than 75 percent of the vote in 303 precincts, Ludwig said.

"That's pretty unusual even when you have a well-known incumbent being challenged by anyone," he said.

But the South Carolina Election Commission said there was nothing unusual about the results.

"We received the votes we received," said Gary Baum, director of training and public information for the commission. "They came in proper."

There are a lot of precincts in South Carolina. If people knew Greene's race or if the level of education varied a lot across precincts so that in some places people simply picked the first candidate, it seems quite believeable that one could get this result.



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