Will Face Democrat Smith in December 14 Special Election

Phyllis Henderson defeated Keith Smith in the October 26 GOP runoff to represent District 21 in the South Carolina House of Representatives. Only 8.63 percent of the registered voters in the Eastside Greenville County District voted in the primary. Henderson and Smith had been the two top vote recipients in a special primary to pick a replacement for the late William Wylie who died in office. Henderson, the Republican nominee, will face Democrat Susan Scarborough Smith in a December 14 special election.

The final vote tally certified by the Greenville County Election Commission on Thursday gave Henderson 1,375 votes and Smith 1,296 votes – a 79-vote difference.

Smith, a Greer realtor and building contractor, questioned a coincidence that surfaced in the vote tally that revealed that the same numbers of votes were cast in both the Granite Creek and Riverside precincts and that each candidate received the same number of votes in each. The same occurred between the Rolling Green precinct and absentee voters.

Paper ballots were used in the election, and it was easily verified that the vote totals were correct and that it was a coincidence and not the basis for a complaint.

Greenville County Director of Elections Conway Belangia said that it would have been more difficult to verify had paper ballots not been used and electronic machines were used instead.

Smith had threatened to file a grievance with the State Republican Party Executive Committee as did Tony Trout four years ago, however he did not do so before the Monday noon deadline.

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