Republican presidential candidates seeking a win in South
Carolina's primary -- and an edge in what so far has been
a wide-open race -- were hoping voters would head to the polls
despite bad weather.
Rain and snow were falling in some places Saturday. CNN meteorologist
Jacqui Jeras said as much as 4 inches of snow could fall in
the western and northern parts of the state.
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who was victorious earlier
this month in Iowa caucuses, said the snow was "something
we hoped wouldn't happen."
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But, Huckabee said, "We have to take the weather for
what it is. We don't get to choose it. I just hope that our
voters are so committed that it doesn't affect the fact that
they are going to vote, because ... it's a mission that they
have to deal with today."
Malfunctioning voting machines plagued Horry County, which
contains the cities of Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle Beach.
"Human error" put the machines offline in 80 percent
of the county's precincts during Saturday's voting, according
to county spokeswoman Lisa Bourcier
By 4 p.m. ET, only about four of the county's 118 precincts
were without a working machine, Bourcier said. Polls closed
at 7 p.m. ET.
The campaign of GOP contender Sen. John McCain had sought
to obtain a court order to extend voting in the northeastern
county by an additional hour but were unable to do so. McCain
did very well in Horry County when he ran for president in
Bourcier said that voters in the affected precincts used
paper ballots and any scrap of paper available to cast their
votes. She said the county was bringing in 40 to 50 extra
people to count ballots after polls close, and, she said,
officials were aware that an order extending voting hours
Bourcier said the problem was caused by "human error."
The last step in preparing the machines for Election Day is
a "clearing" test that resets the machine data to
zero. That test was not done on most of the machines, which
locked them and made them unable to function, she said.