South Carolina Judge Vic Rawl — who was beaten badly by the unheard of Alvin Greene in last week’s South Carolina Democratic Senate primary — announced today that he’s filed a protest of the election results with the state party.
“We have filed this protest not for my personal or political gain, but on behalf of the people of South Carolina,” Rawl said in the statement. “There is a cloud over Tuesday’s election. There is a cloud over South Carolina, that affects all of our people, Democrats and Republicans, white and African-American alike.”
Since Greene’s surprising victory last week, the unemployed Army vet has made the cable news rounds — and has come across as thoroughly not ready for prime time. Watch the highlights. Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC) has gone so far as to suggest that Greene may be a “plant.”“The strange circumstances surrounding Tuesday’s vote require a thorough investigation,” Rawl said today. “For better or worse, this protest process is the only platform currently available for that investigation.”
Rawl cites “irregularities” in the election results, tales of “extremely unusual incidents” from poll workers and voters and “the well-documented unreliability and unverifiability of the voting machines.”
The judge also insisted that even if a new election is ordered, he might not even run it it: “At the risk of repetition, this protest is not about me, or my personal political fortunes. Indeed, if the protest is upheld and a new election ordered, I have not decided whether to run in it.”
Here’s the full statement:
Good afternoon, and thank you all for coming.
Earlier today, our campaign filed a protest of last Tuesday’s election results with the South Carolina Democratic Party.
We have filed this protest not for my personal or political gain, but on behalf of the people of South Carolina.
There is a cloud over Tuesday’s election. There is a cloud over South Carolina, that affects all of our people, Democrats and Republicans, white and African-American alike.
At this point, the people of our state do not have the basic confidence that their vote will be counted.
The strange circumstances surrounding Tuesday’s vote require a thorough investigation. For better or worse, this protest process is the only platform currently available for that investigation.
And let me be clear: regardless of the outcome of this protest, a full and unblinking investigation of this election and the overall integrity of South Carolina’s election system must go forward. Whether our protest is upheld or not, I intend to bring my full energies to electoral reform well into the future.
I want to speak briefly about the bases for our protest.
First is ongoing analyses of the election returns themselves, which indicate irregularities.
Second are the many voters and poll workers who continue to contact us with their stories of extremely unusual incidents while trying to vote and administer this election.
These range from voters who repeatedly pressed the screen for me only to have the other candidate’s name appear, to poll workers who had to change program cards multiple times, to at least one voter in the Republican primary who had the Democratic U.S. Senate race appear on her ballot.
For those who experienced problems voting, I urge you to go to our website, www.vicrawl.com and use the form there to report them. You can also call our Election Integrity Hotline at 843-278-0510.
Third is the well-documented unreliability and unverifiability of the voting machines used in South Carolina.
It is worth noting that these machines were purchased surplus from Louisiana after that state outlawed them.
The full details of our protest will be presented on Thursday.
For the people of South Carolina, getting to the bottom of Tuesday’s results will build confidence, either way.
I also hope that a full and frank discussion of our voting system will result in substantial reform.
At the risk of repetition, this protest is not about me, or my personal political fortunes. Indeed, if the protest is upheld and a new election ordered, I have not decided whether to run in it.
But, either way, I am not done with the issue of fixing our elections.
Lastly, let me make something clear. Like all of you, I am aware of the controversies surrounding Mr. Greene. This protest is not about him either.
I would like to speak directly to Mr. Greene and say: “Sir, this is not about you, and it’s not about me. I wish you and your family nothing but the best in the weeks and months ahead.”
I will be happy to take questions.