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.