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February 26, 2014

Election board selects interim director – from within

The Richland County elections board picked one of its own members, newest appointee Samuel Selph, Wednesday to serve as interim director after firing the previous director on Monday.

The Richland County elections board picked one of its own members, newest appointee Samuel Selph, Wednesday to serve as interim director after firing the previous director on Monday.

A salary was not set for Selph, retired after 40 years at the S.C. Human Affairs Commission. He has been one of the most vocal board members since being appointed in June.

After a 20-minute executive session, Selph was selected on a 3-1 vote, with Adell Adams opposed.

The 66-year-old Selph has been a pollworker at Richland Northeast High School since 1984 and said his work “in the trenches” will provide insight into running elections.

Selph said his first day on the job Thursday will be spent getting to know the staff of 16 “able and competent people” who will hold June primaries. Selph said he also would prepare to send letters to the residents of 25 new Richland County precincts, notifying them of their new voting places.

Neither Selph nor board chairman Allen Dowdy would respond to the voluminous allegations by former director Howard Jackson, made in an hour-long news conference Tuesday.

Before naming Selph the interim director – appointed to serve “as long as it takes” to find a new director – the board kicked Jackson out of the administration building immediately rather than Friday, which was to be his last day.

Jackson met with a SLED captain for about an hour earlier Wednesday and said he would be returning Thursday to make a statement. He said he has evidence of obstruction of elections held in 2012 and 2013.

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