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.
Curiosity abounds as to how Greene, who didn’t campaign or spend any money on the race, won Tuesday’s Democratic contest. Following his election, it was revealed that he’s facing a pending felony charge for showing pornography to a female college student. He has resisted calls from the state party to withdraw from the race.
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.
The South Carolina Democratic party removing Greene, who is black, with Rawl, who is white, would likely spark questions about whether the ouster was racially motivated.
Walter Ludwig, the campaign manager for Rawl, said they will use statistical analysis of the votes to show that there were “systemic problems with machines.” One major alarm that shows “the potential for significant irregularities” is how absentee ballot results differed greatly from the results on election day that overwhelming benefited Greene.
The campaign will rebut the common explanations for how Greene won — like the fact that his name appeared higher on the ballot — and describe the dozens of people who’ve come forward to say they meant to vote for Rawl, but think they voted for Greene.
Ludwig said he wouldn’t speculate on how the committee would vote. He also would not say if the campaign would prefer a redo election or being declared the nominee.
As for whether the campaign is conscious of racial concerns, Ludwig said they are “concentrating on the integrity of the ballot” and a malfunctioning machine hurts both “white folks and black folks.”
Rawl filed the protest Monday. Page said members of the media will be allowed access to the hearing.
If Greene is later convicted of the felony and still on the ticket, the executive committee would meet again to vote on how to proceed. It’s possible that Greene — even if convicted— could make it to the Senate, though the body has the power to expel members deemed unfit or unqualified to serve.
Page also declined to say what she thought would happen at the hearing. “If this election has taught us anything, it’s that anything is possible,” she said.