Columbia must wait a day for strong-mayor petition results

September 19, 2013 

— Richland County election officials told City Hall late Thursday that results of a strong-mayor petition have been delayed until Friday.

About 4:15 p.m., someone from the county Elections & Voter Registration office called assistant city manager Missy Gentry to say a final count of thousands of signatures on a three-week-long petition drive was incomplete.

City leaders had been awaiting the important news of whether the petition had the sufficient 11,063 signatures of eligible voters to require a referendum on a strong-mayor form of government.

County election officials had told the city manager and the city attorney Wednesday that the results of the petition would be delivered Thursday to City Hall.

If the petition has verified signatures from 15 percent of Columbia’s registered voters, the referendum is mandated by state law.

City Council voted Wednesday to set the referendum for Dec. 3 if the petition is certified.

Clif LeBlanc

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