Richland takes hands-off approach to suit on 2011 elections merger

September 11, 2013 

— Richland County Council won’t be asking the court to join in a lawsuit over the structure of its elections office.

Tuesday night, the council met behind closed doors for a legal briefing on the case, brought by the S.C. Public Interest Foundation and taxpayer Rusty DePass.

“We’re not getting involved in it,” chairman Kelvin Washington said Wednesday morning. “We’re just waiting for whatever actions the state Legislature is going to take.”

A judge ruled earlier this month that the 2011 state law merging the elections and voter registration offices was unconstitutional because it affects just Richland County. County senators have asked Circuit Judge G. Thomas Cooper to delay the effect of his ruling until after the Nov. 5 elections.

DePass, meanwhile, has asked the judge for the state to reimburse his legal fees.

Dawn Hinshaw

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