The Laurens County Board of Elections heard allegations of voter fraud committed in the Clinton City Council elections during a hearing on Friday.
One of the candidates, Rosa Booker, filed the protest claiming 2 absentee ballots were submitted by voters that don’t live in Clinton.
The absentee ballots that Booker challenged favored incumbent District 2 City Councilwoman Shirley Jenkins, who won the election with 85 votes.
Jenkins tells 7News the allegations are bogus and the hearing was a waste of time.
“We know fraud is taking place,” said Booker.
Booker presented the Laurens County Board of Election with evidence she says proves Councilwoman Jenkins benefitted from voter fraud. Booker says Jenkins’ kids, Tanisha and Christopher, voted absentee despite no longer living in Clinton.
“I had to bring in proof that her daughter is from Knoxville, Tennessee,” Booker said. “I had to bring in proof that her son is from Spartanburg.”
However, Jenkins tried to set the record straight.
“My daughter works and is a student at the University of Tennessee,” Jenkins told 7News. “My son just recently moved to Spartanburg [county], but he comes back and forth.”
Jenkins says her children are registered to vote in Laurens County, which a spokesperson for the South Carolina Board of Election did confirm to 7News.
The spokesperson for the South Carolina Board of Election says Christopher Jenkins’ moving would not impact his eligibility to vote in Laurens County. As long as he has intentions to return in Laurens County.
Booker, who came in second place with 29 votes, still challenged the ballots.
“Why do we have people voting from Tennesee, right here in our town? It’s illegal,” said Booker.
“Even if the absentee ballots were not counted, I still fairly beat her,” Jenkins said.
After hearing from both sides and following a quick executive session, the Laurens County Board of Elections discredited Bookers’ allegations saying no fraud was committed in the city council election.
“I would like to make a motion to not set aside these two absentee ballots as they have met the standards of the South Carolina Election Laws.”
Booker tells 7News she was not thrilled with the outcome of the protest hearing but says she’s not done trying to prove fraud was committed.