Editorial

Answering S.C.’s Voting Question

December 27, 2012 

Coming in 2014 to a theater near you, a hard look at the vulnerabilities and the issues of electronic voting in our nation. At least, first-time documentarian Jason Grant Smith hopes his film will be in theaters then. Even if it’s not, the issue will still likely be apt.

Intrigued by the lack of rational explanations for the 2010 primary election win of U.S. Senate candidate Alvin Greene in South Carolina, Smith embarked upon a journey shortly afterward into what he called “the byzantine rabbit hole of election administration in the United States.”

Smith eventually spent three weeks in South Carolina, interviewing leaders and voting experts for his movie, “I Voted?” While “South Carolina becomes the window” through which the issue is viewed, Smith said he hopes his nonpartisan film will shine a light on election integrity throughout the country.

And while he said he didn’t make it to Myrtle Beach or Horry County, it’s an issue that certainly resonates here, where 183 votes were misplaced in the 2010 election.

Smith’s day job is as a writer and voiceover actor in Hollywood (you’ve heard his voice in “The Avengers,” “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” the original “Beverly Hills 90210” and the “Shop ‘Til You Drop” game show), but he plans to finish this, his first documentary, and get it on the festival circuit by the end of next summer, with hopes of it reaching wider distribution before the 2014 mid-term elections.

Meanwhile, an in-state audit of the adequacy of the state’s voting machines continues by the S.C. Legislative Audit Council, which will in part “evaluate alternatives to the current voting machines.” There’s no indication of how much longer it will be before that report is finished or released.

We’ve never been big fans of the current machines and would prefer a system that we have more trust in, one that doesn’t rely so heavily on everything going right all the time. In the real world, mistakes happen, oversights occur and more backups – such as a paper trail of some sort – would give us more faith that our ballot truly has been counted. Then we can take the question mark off of Smith’s movie and just confidently declare, “I voted.”

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