CAMDEN – A Camden man has lodged a formal protest with the Kershaw County Democratic Executive Committee following the loss of a run-off election Feb. 27 by 46 votes to select the Democratic contender for a seat on Kershaw County Council.
Don Nelson lost to Elgin restaurant owner A. T. “Hammy” Moak by a vote of 1,634 to 1,680.
County Democratic Party Chairman Bobby Jones said the party’s executive committee will discuss the protest in a meeting scheduled for today at 6 p.m. at the county courthouse.
Nelson’s protest asks for a recount of the Elgin precinct box vote and that the computer polling list printout be scrutinized. He also protested the handling of the voting at Camden Precinct one, Rhame Arena.
In the Elgin vote, Nelson polled 33 votes to Moak’s 313. During the Feb. 6 six-man race, Nelson received 18 votes, while Moak tallied 252 votes.
The election and votes for the run-off were certified by the executive committee during a March 2 meeting. A recount is not necessary because less than on percent of the vote separated the two candidates.
Nelson also protested the holding of a basketball tournament in the voting area in Camden Precinct One at Rahme Area, that began at 5 p.m. on the voting day.
“I know that when people came in the afternoon to vote there, they saw school buses and kids and didn’t go inn to vote because the tournament was in progress on the arena floor,” Nelson said.
Election rules state that a voting precinct must not be disturbed during the voting hours of 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. Tournament officials were told to proceed with the game.
A similar incident occurred during the Feb. 6 vote, according to Jones, when a game proceeded at one end of a large room while voting continued at an opposite end of the room.