South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson can rest easy: there is no rampant ”zombie” voting in South Carolina.
For more than a year, Wilson has been complaining about the “hundreds” of cases of voter fraud that occurred when people in South Carolina used the names of deceased registered voters to cast fraudulent ballots in their name.
The State’s Law Enforcement Division looked into the more than 900 allegations of deceased voter fraud and has found no indication of intentional fraud, according to a report released to the Columbia Free-Times and later to the Associated Press,
It’s not the first time claims of widespread voter fraud in the Palmetto State have been debunked. Early analysis of some of the fraud claims conducted by the Department of Motor Vehicles in 2012 found that all but a handful of the reported cases of voter fraud were the results of error and confusion. Nearly half of all reports were ultimately attributed to clerical error, and in some instances the ballots came from voters who shared a name with a deceased father.
Wilson had commissioned the report himself after the state’s DMV found evidence that more than 900 people who had passed away had also cast ballots in recent years.
Wilson and other Republicans repeatedly invoked the reports of possible voter fraud to justify the state’s voter ID law, which was blocked from immediate implementation by the Justice Department under the now defunct preclearance provision of the Voting Rights Act.
At least one Democrat in the state is taking issue with the cost associated with the investigation.
“What they used were fictitious numbers to promote a regressive piece of legislation,” Democratic Rep. Bakari Sellers said, according to the AP. “They needed something to grasp ahold of to justify taking steps backward in our voting-rights laws.
“It’s apparent that we were lied to, and that’s troubling,” he added.
“The initial claims reported to the Attorney General’s Office were alarming,” Wilson’s spokesman told the Columbia Free-Times. “They were not vague allegations, but contained specific information. The state’s chief prosecutor cannot stand by when presented with such a situation. So SLED was asked to investigate this matter. We appreciate SLED’s hard work in preparing this report.”