By Stan Welch
The contested election results at the Anderson County Republican Party convention earlier this week have been formally protested to the state party organization. The state party received a formal letter of protest Wednesday afternoon, signed by six members of the party.
Hope Walker, spokesperson for the state party, confirmed that the protest has been filed, and will be reviewed by the state party officials as soon as local efforts to verify the counts are finished, and the final results are forwarded to Columbia. Walker says that once a state party review is complete, a number of actions could be taken, up to and including nullification of the elections and new elections being held.
“The state executive committee will review everything and determine the appropriate course of action. A number of options can and will be condisered. Nullifying the results is one of those possible courses of action.”
The elections were shrouded in controversy and became chaotic when it was discovered that fifteen more ballots were cast than the number of delegates eligible to vote.
Anderson County Republican Party Chairman Dan Harvell said Thursday that the confusion in the number of delegates and the votes cast was the result of a clerical error in the way the original certified delegates were counted. Harvell said that a review of the delegates showed there were 177 registered voters and 176 votes were cast.
Some who attended blamed a total lack of organization for the problems.
Others anticipated the worst. One delegate said when he received his packet and it wasn’t sealed he knew there would be problems. The confusion deepened when, after several hours of wrangling, delegates began to leave before all the proposed resolutions were voted on. Their departure left the convention without a quorum and several resolutions were not voted on.