In the heart of South Carolina lies Richland County. Home to the University of South Carolina, the second largest county in the state is celebrating its 215th anniversary. By all accounts, it’s a nice place to live and work. Recently though, it has not been a good place to vote. The Richland County Board of Elections and Voter Registration has been under a cloud of controversy since 2011 when the General Assembly passed a law merging Richland County’s elections office and voter registration office. During the 2012 presidential election, voters in Richland County faced some of the longest lines in the country. Some of the problems were blamed on a lack of poll workers, malfunctioning machines and that in many cases there were simply too few voting machines at precincts. There were anecdotal reports that hundreds of voters ultimately gave up and never cast a ballot.
In the wake of the elections the debacle, Elections Director Lillian McBride resigned under pressure in January of 2013 and the board spent more than $153,000 in legal fees to investigate what went wrong in November 2012 and for representation for McBride.
The investigation largely blamed problems on McBride and her staff’s work, but also noted that legislators were to blame for failing to pay attention to growing precincts. The Board replaced McBride with Howard Jackson in June of 2013.
But all was not well under a new elections director. During a state canvass of election results in November of 2013, it was discovered that more than 1,000 ballots were not counted.
Full Article: electionlineWeekly.