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RichCo Election Chair Crum Resigns, 'No Confidence' in McBride

The head of the county election commission made her decision today.

Just when the controversy regarding Richland County elections seemed to by dying down, events took another turn on Monday evening.

Liz Crum, the chairwoman of the Richland County Elections Commission, will resign her position, effective Tuesday morning.

Crum oversaw elections in Richland County during a horrendous 2012 Election Day that included hours-long waits to vote.

Crum, who spoke to media following the commission's meeting on Monday evening, also called for Director Lillian McBride to step down.

"I no longer have confidence in Ms. McBride to lead elections," said Crum, who said her decision was made harder due to the fact that she considers McBride a friend.

Crum's position is unpaid. McBride draws approximately $89,000 per year in salary. Rep. Nathan Ballentine and Sen. John Courson have also called for McBride to be replaced. McBride did not comment on Monday when asked about Crum's decision, nor did Gary Baum, the Assistant Director.

Ballentine reiterated his call for McBride to be replaced. He gave the following statement to Patch:

"Liz Crum has listened to the overwhelming voices of Richland County voters and I thank her for understanding that personnel changes are needed to restore confidence in the election process. While Ms. Crum and only a small number of my delegation colleagues understand more changes are needed, I'm getting the feeling the Election Board - the only ones apparently able to make personnel decisions according to the Attorney General - seems to have no interest in publicly discussing the one decision everyone knows needs to be made. How many more weeks of 'studying reports' do they need?"

Antjuan Seawright, spokesperson for Sen. Darrell Jackson, who chairs the Richland County Legislative Delegation, said Jackson would have no comment.

See full coverage of the Election Day debacle HERE.

The Election Commission had been meeting to receive an update from Attorney Steve Hamm, who has been investaigating the election troubles for approximately the last month.

The Commission received an update from Hamm and then went into Executive Session for nearly two hours to discuss a personnel matter. When the Commission returned to public session Crum announced her plans to resign. Crum's term was scheduled to end in March, and she had made it clear she did not intend to serve another term before the scandal.

Prior to Crum's announcement, the biggest news in the meeting was that the Commisson would urge the Richland County Legislative Delegation to push for early voting. Vice-chair Allen Dowdy will assume the chairmanship.

Hamm reported that in his investigations thus far, he's noted that the flash cards in the voting machines failed in Richland County at a much higher rate than the rest of the state. He also noted that the batteries, initially thought to be the main source of widespread problems, were not. Machines in Greenville County and Charleston County actually had more battery failures.

But that information was overshadowed by Crum's announcement, which puts the focus squarely back on the delegation and how it plans to address McBride's job status.

Keep up with all of Patch's coverage of South Carolina politics by following us on Facebook HERE and Twitter HERE.

robert December 18, 2012 at 02:40 AM
They need to fire MRS Mcbride,,,,,

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