Horry Co. judge issues restraining order in SC 7 Democratic runoff

By: Jody Barr

CONWAY, SC (WIS) An Horry County judge has issued a restraining order against the South Carolina Elections Commission, preventing the agency from printing ballots or preparing voting machines for the Democratic primary runoff in the SC Congressional District 7 race. The order has put the Democrat and Republican runoffs on hold until next week.

The second place vote getter, Conway attorney Preston Brittain's side filed the suit Wednesday, after state elections declared candidate Gloria Tinubu the winner. The commission discounted former candidate Ted Vick's 2,340 votes after Vick "suspended" his campaign following his arrest on weapons and drunken driving charges.

Without Vick's vote totals included in the final count, Tinubu would have earned the majority of the vote, which would have sent her on as the winner. However, the suit contends state elections "incorrectly" discounted Vick's votes, which would send Brittain and Tinubu to a runoff.

The suit contends Vick's votes cannot be discounted and a runoff is needed to determine the Democratic nominee.

Thursday, Horry County circuit court judge Larry Hyman signed a restraining order, preventing state elections officials from proceeding with the June 26 runoff. The order would keep elections from sending any runoff ballots out until Hyman rules on the Vick votes next week.