Not counting votes of withdrawn candidate?

Ed sends along the following note, based on a story at Daily Kos Elections:

Apparently the South Carolina election commission decided simply not to count the votes for a candidate on the ballot in a Democratic primary, who had stated earlier that he was withdrawing from the race. The South Carolina Democratic Party objected to this and has threatened a lawsuit.

I had always assumed that election commissions in the US were jointly controlled by the local Democratic and Republican Parties (actually a big problem with US elections, they should be more independent). This seems to be a pretty blantant violation of elections law by the Elections Commission itself, over the objections of one of the big two. Is the story being distorted and there is really more explanation or precedence for this than appears at first glance?

2 thoughts on “Not counting votes of withdrawn candidate?

  1. Isn’t this standard practice in most FPTP systems? It happened to Tony Benn in 1961 tinyurl.com/bqzjk5b and Horace Greeley in 1872 tinyurl.com/4646dk. Voters are deemed to have thrown their votes away, at least if they knew when casting their ballots that that candidate was dead or disqualified.

    The 2000 Mel Carnahan indulgence tinyurl.com/czux89y is not extended widely. Australia formerly used the common law rule that a dead or disqualified candidate was deemed automatically defeated, until in one election (early after WWI but the date escapes me) this meant the sole rival candidate got in unopposed. So now death of a candidate voids the election in that district, and requires a new poll. (It seems to happen more often that I would have expected – Dickson, House of Reps, 1993 and Frankston East, Victorian leg Assembly, on polling day in 1999). The candidates have to nominate again, but they get their deposits refunded in full. For the Australian chambers that use PR, the election proceeds as normal and the removed candidate’s votes flow immediately to their next preferences (eg Dignity for Disability candidate Kelly Vincent in the 20120 South Australian Leg Council election http://tinyurl.com/cdo43nv).

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