Will SC Dems run afoul of the Civil Rights Commission?
posted at 10:55 am on June 17, 2010 by Ed Morrissey
Talk about being between a rock and a hard place. The Democratic Party in South Carolina will hear a protest today by Vic Rawl over his loss to Alvin Greene in the state’s US Senate primary earlier this month. The Daily Caller notes that they have three choices to settle the embarrassing issue, none of which look good, and at least one of which could land them in hot water with the Department of Justice:
Democratic voters in South Carolina nominated the mysterious Alvin Greene for the U.S. Senate last week, but the 92 men and women on the Democratic Party Executive Committee could void those results on Thursday and award the nomination to his opponent, Vic Rawl.
“In an extreme case … our executive committee could actually decide to overturn the election results and declare [Rawl] the nominee,” Keiana Page, a spokeswoman for the state party, said in an interview with The Daily Caller. …
The executive committee will formally hear the primary election protests by Rawl Thursday afternoon. Following the hearing, the committee has three options: overturn the election and declare Rawl the nominee, order a redo of the election for Aug. 16 or uphold last week’s results.
The “extreme” circumstance that Page said would warrant the committee overturning the results and awarding the nomination to Greene’s opponent would be if Rawl can prove voting machine malfunctions or that paper ballots were not counted.
But if the committee went ahead with replacing Greene with Rawl, expect a firestorm reaction, said Ken Klukowski, a conservative constitutional lawyer co-wrote a book, “The Blueprint,” with former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell. “You could have a federal constitutional challenge,” he said. It could be argued, Klukowski said, that by automatically replacing Greene, who was popularly elected in the election, the state is violating citizens’ right to vote.
It all depends on the definition of “extreme.” The results of the primary election have been extremely embarrassing to South Carolina Democrats, who have watched aghast as Greene self-destructs in every single interview. They have been extremely uncomfortable in providing an explanation as to how a man with no visible means, no visible campaign, and a pending felony obscenity investigation could have taken 60% of the vote in a statewide primary. Needless to say, they will also be extremely interested in hearing actual evidence from Rawl of vote tampering in order to justify overturning the results.
However, that theory has its share of problems. Greene got over 100,000 votes in the primary. How could that have come from vote rigging on Election Day? It would take a massive effort to attack the thousands of voting machines in the precincts to come up with that many votes, which no one apparently noticed even though Democrats had election judges on hand in these precincts. Who would have paid for the effort? After all, one of the reasons this is so controversial is that Greene doesn’t have money or a job at the moment, and didn’t do any fundraising or campaigning. It would take a conspiracy rivaling the Illuminati to have succeeded in this case, and Greene is hardly the kind of genius it would take.
Considering the implications of invalidating a primary that would throw an African-American candidate off the ballot for no good reason, South Carolina Democrats have to ask themselves whether it’s worth it anyway. Jim DeMint is going to win this race against either Rawl or Greene by double digits, perhaps as much as 20 points or better. Why bother to assume that much legal and political risk when the end result will be a big loss either way? Pressing for either an appointment of Rawl to the nomination or a new primary would be about as epic a disaster as the unions created in Arkansas by losing $10 million in another Senate race the Democrats have almost no chance of winning.