DMV: 900 Dead People May Have Voted

7:48 PM, Jan 11, 2012   |    comments
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Columbia, SC (AP, WLTX) -- The director of South Carolina's Department of Motor Vehicles has told the State Law Enforcement Division that more than 900 people who were recorded as having voted were actually dead.

DMV Director Kevin Shwedo told legislators about the issue Wednesday as the U.S. Justice Department questions a new state law requiring people to show photographic identification when they vote in person.

In response, South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson asked SLED to review the evidence.

"Director Shwedo's research has revealed evidence that over nine hundred deceased people appear to have 'voted' in recent elections in South Carolina," said Wilson in a statement. "This is an alarming number, and clearly necessitates an investigation into potential criminal activity. I have asked SLED Chief Keel to review Director Shwedo's research."

Shwedo analyzed more than 230,000 records on people without state driver's licenses or identification cards. He found state Election Commission data included 30,000 dead people. He said the records involving 900 dead people were turned over to SLED to investigate.

Shwedo said the records also included more than 91,000 people who now appear to live in other states.

When asked, Shwedo did not have the specific dates of the elections the records included.

He says his agency attempted to give the information to the state's Election Commission, and he later passed it on to the Attorney General's office.

The house subcommittee who heard Shwedo's testimony says it wants to hear from the Election Commission on the agency's procedures concerning its voter rolls. 

"That brings up a major point of concern but I think more importantly it shows that the Voter ID bill is needed," said Republican Representative Rick Quinn of Lexington County.

South Carolina's voter ID law was signed into law last year, and was to have taken effect January 1st. However, last month, the U.S. Justice Department said the law was unconstitutional as currently written.

"The Department of Justice deemed this discriminatory becasue it disproportionately affects African-American voters, plain and simple. Even if you look at the new numbers he stated then that percentage goes up and it bolsters the Department of Justices argument. I don't know why we're still here. This is sour grapes," said Rep. Bakari Sellers, a Democrat from Bamberg County.

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