Richland legislators to wrap interviews for highly sought seats on elections board

May 14, 2014 

  • The ‘qualified’ applicants

    The appointments committee of the Richland County legislative delegation is selecting 10 nominees for five seats on the elections board. The committee is expected to wrap up interviews Thursday, said the chairman, Rep. Jimmy Bales.

    Bales did not know when the group would vote on the slate to be considered by the 16-member delegation.

    Already, the list was winnowed by staff from 51 applicants to 39 who “qualified” for service, based on their election experience or knowledge of the election process. The working applicant list includes long-time board members Adell Adams and Elaine DuBose.

    The other candidates are:

    Samuel Brick

    Michael Bryant

    Duncan Buell

    Wade Carlise

    Kenneth Colton

    Eric Davis

    Mattie Davis

    Terry Davis

    Dedrick Edwards

    Gordon English

    Sylvia Holley

    Joanne Johnson

    Marjorie Johnson

    Francee Levin

    E. Peter Kennedy

    Christopher Kenney

    David Koon

    Joan Lucius

    Eric Mohn

    Lindsey Ott

    Celestine Parker

    William Spillane

    Walter Suber

    Clristopher Timmers

    Tony West

    Essie Williams

    Beverly Frierson

    John Hart

    Warren Koestner

    Debra Kennedy

    Eleanor Duffy Cleary

    Daniel Rickenmann

    Pamela Sumter

    Cecil Taliaferro

    Robert Tyson Jr.

    Harrison Greenlaw

    Jane Emerson

    SOURCE: Richland County Legislative Delegation office

A committee of Richland legislators meets a second time Thursday to interview applicants for the Richland County Elections Board.

Rep. Jimmy Bales, D-Richland and chairman of the appointments committee, said he expects the committee to finish up by interviewing ten to 12 applicants.

Bales said he did not know whether the committee would vote on its 10 nominees Thursday or wait for a third meeting.

“Some want to vote, some want to wait,” he said Wednesday.

A record 51 applicants put in for the five seats. Staff then cut the field to 39, based on their experience and knowledge of elections. The list, which includes two long-time board members, was released Wednesday.

Membership on the elections board has been an issue since the November 2012 election debacle and a series of events that followed, from votes discovered in a closet to the selection of a new director chosen after all his competitors dropped out.

The new director, Howard Jackson, lasted eight months before the board let him go, never explaining why. Jackson called a news conference to air his complaints, including that the meddlesome elections board was more interested in keeping legislators happy than running trouble-free elections.

The board quickly appointed one of its own as interim director, while a SLED investigation continues into Jackson’s allegations of possible criminal activity in the running of recent elections.

Bales is joined on the appointments committee by Richland Reps. Chris Hart, Leon Howard, Mia McLeod and Sen. John Courson.

They will meet at 1 p.m. in Room 427 of the Blatt Building, 1105 Pendleton St.

Dawn Hinshaw

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