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Richland County Election Certified, Investigations Pending

The Board's attorney plans investigation as does Legislative Delegation.

Though it missed not one, but two deadlines, the Richland County Elections and Voter Registration Board certified the results for the election on Nov. 6.

The Board had been given a deadline of noon on Friday, but various complications necessitated that the attorney retained by the board, Steve Hamm, ask the Supreme Court for extensions. The Court did, extending the deadline through Monday at noon, but the certification was completed just after 4 p.m.

During today's certification 271 votes were accepted and 617 were rejected.

None of the results from the numerous races changed during the certification process. And none of the races had a margin of victory of 1 percent or less, which would have mandated a recount. See the winners HERE.

According to Hamm, any persons or groups wishing to file a protest must do so by Monday, Nov. 26 at noon. The original deadline to file had been Wednesday the 21st, but the lengthy certification process pushed that back.

The question of who won and who lost is less important now than what caused lines of more than six hours at polling places throughout the county.

The management of the election has been harshly criticized from various quarters and the scrutiny continued on Friday as what was supposed to be a routine certification ended up pushing up against a third extended deadline.

Board chair Liz Crum apologized to voters for the lengthy lines and, after the certification was complete, said that the Board will conduct a full review of what happened prior to and during Election Day. Hamm will be responsible for the investigation on the Board’s behalf, which, he said, has already begun. He did not set a deadline for its completion.

The Legislative Delegation for Richland County will conduct a public hearing on the election at 1 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 26 in the Gressette Building.

The fundamental issue on Election Day was that many polling stations had significantly fewer voting machines than was required by law. How those machines were allocated is sure to come up in the Richland County delegation’s investigation as well as Hamm’s.

The person likely to come under the most scrutiny is Director of Elections Lillian McBride, who was responsible for Election Day preparations. As Patch originally reported, questions have been raised about McBride’s affiliations to groups in favor of the Penny Sales Tax. A representative for the groups has vehemently denied that any wrongdoing took place. McBride earns over $89,000 in salary and ascended to her position in 2011.

Follow SCPatchPolitics on Twitter for the latest from the Richland County election mess.

See Patch's previous coverage of the Richland County elections here.

Ken November 16, 2012 at 04:47 PM
Why am I not surprised?

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