Richland County lawmakers show little interest in quickly hearing election report

jmonk@thestate.comDecember 6, 2012 

Following a midday executive session during their monthly meeting, members of the Richland County Legislative Delegation voted to hear an interim report on the Nov. 6 county elections within two weeks.

Prior to the executive session, members of the delegation discussed a delay in getting a briefing on the report, scheduled for release later today, but showed little interest in setting a deadline to hear it.

Following their meeting, several delegation members said they had no objection to the report's being made public, even before they had their meeting on it. The report is scheduled to be discussed at a 4 p.m. meeting of the Richland County Election Commission and possibly made public at that time.

“It should be public – I think the public would demand it be made public,” said Rep. Todd Rutherford, D-Richland.

Delegation vice chairman Sen. John Courson, R-Richland, said he wanted the report to be made public today.

“The voters of Richland County need to know as much about this as possible -- how it happened, why it happened and what we can do to prevent it from reoccurring in the future,” Courson said.

In other action, the delegation voted to:

• Award an open seat on the five-member Richland County Election Commission to Herbert Sims, 58, a longtime county poll worker and retired state government worker.

• To reappoint Election Commission member Adell Adams to a seat on the board.

• Agreed to keep Sen. Darrell Jackson, D-Richland, as chairman of the delegation for an indefinite time.

Jackson's two-year term as chairman is expiring and Rep. Joe Neal, D-Richland, was said to be a leading candidate to take his place.

However, Jackson had let it known he wants to remain chairman until the elections controversy is resolved. Delegation members apparently discussed the chairmanship matter during its nonpublic executive session. When they emerged, on a motion by Rep. Jimmy Bales, D-Richland, they voted without discussion to keep Jackson as chair .

Neal declined comment.

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