The fifth person who could decided the fate of embattled Richland County elections chief Lillian McBride was nominated Wednesday.
Herbert Sims, a longtime Richland County poll worker at the Gadsden precinct, was nominated Wednesday to fill an open vacancy on the five-member county election commission. The commission is the governing board of the Richland County Elections & Voter Registration Office.
The nomination of Sims, 59, a former employee at the state comptroller general’s office, is expected to be voted on Thursday by the full, 14-member county Legislative Delegation at its meeting at Midlands Technical College.
If confirmed, Sims would bring the election commission up to its full strength of five members.
Sims was one of 18 people seeking to fill the spot Wednesday afternoon who made brief presenations to five members of the Legislative Delegation, who served as a nominating committee. Many of those many presentations appeared to have solid credentials in the work force, or as a poll worker, or both.
One of the first matters of major business before the Election Commission in the near future will be whether to hire or fire McBride, whose office on Nov. 6 oversaw what critics call one of the state’s most bungled county elections in modern times.
In an interview after his nomination, Sims said he is keeping an open mind on whether to retain or fire McBride, who makes $89,124 a year.
Specifically, Sims said, he won’t decide until he sees the final report to be presented to the Election Commission by its attorney, Steve Hamm.
After the election, marked by long lines, an unexplained shortage of voting machines, as well as nonworking machines, the commission retained Hamm to investigate what went wrong and issue a report.
Hamm’s initial report is expected to be presented to the commission at 4 p.m. Thursday during the delegation meeting. His final report is at least a month away.
On Election Day, Sims said, the last person voted at his Gadsden precinct at 11:30 p.m. — 4 1/2 hours after polls closed.