McCain Demands Investigation After Some SC Polls Failed to Open

By Jerry Miller | July 7, 2008 | 8:25 PM EDT

( - Arizona Senator John McCain has demanded "a full investigation," following reports that as many as 300 polling places failed to open during Saturday's South Carolina Primary.

The heavy voter turnout also caused some polling places to run low on ballots by mid-afternoon, including about a dozen polling places in the heavily populated Columbia area.

Last week, in response to a threatened law suit from two Democrats, Republican officials said they would open all state-designated polling places and, if necessary, pay state election workers to staff them.

Complaints were also filed with the U.S. Department of Justice over concerns that Republican officials would not open some polling places in black communities. That's a decision the Party would make, since the state has no control over Party primaries in South Carolina.

A three-judge federal court panel approved a consent order last Monday ordering the polling spots to be opened. Compared with the 1996 primary, nearly twice as many polling places were used this year, but still, some 300 spots did not open.

"I think it was clear...the court has already settled this," McCain said. "I don't know what to say. It's very disappointing."

In addition to not opening some 300 polling outlets, 21 of the 139 polling precincts in Greenville County were consolidated because volunteers were not available to staff them.