Problems with Horry County Council chairman election cause concerns for some

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) – A four-day wait and 209 unaccounted-for votes in the election for Horry County Council chairman has left some people concerned about the integrity of future elections.

Officials say the 209 votes were in the Forest Dunes 2 district, and they were unaccounted for due to human error.

The length of the election process had some anxious, including Johnny Gardner, who ended up winning the council chair position after defeating incumbent Mark Lazarus.

"That was certainly the longest election I've ever heard of," Gardner said. "I've never been part of one before, because this is the first time I've ever run for anything. But yeah, it was a roller coaster ride."

South Carolina State House Rep. Alan Clemmons represented the Horry County Republican Party during the elections. He said situations like this cause unrest.

"The uncertainty is certainly not good for anyone, particularly the voters and the candidates," Clemmons said.

Horry County Democratic Party Chair Don Kohn agrees.

"The double check should catch the problem," Kohn said. "So that's the real problem. Why didn't the double check catch that these votes were missing?"

Others, however, say despite the length of time, the fact that all votes were accounted for is what ultimately matters.

"Even though it took some time, we came out with an audited, approved election," Dreama Perdue, the Horry County Republican Party chairman, said.

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