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March 20, 2014

Friday hearing could determine fate of Richland’s elections board

A Friday afternoon court hearing has been scheduled that could determine the fate of Richland County’s elections board.

A Friday afternoon court hearing has been scheduled that could determine the fate of Richland County’s elections board.

Greenville lawyer Jim Carpenter said he will ask Circuit Judge Thomas Cooper to stop any further activities by the board, established under a 2011 local law the judge ruled unconstitutional last year.

Carpenter said he also will ask Cooper to declare any activities the board has taken since Dec. 30 “null and void.”

Exactly what that might mean is unclear.

Columbia lawyer Alex Postic confirmed he will represent the elections board at the 1 p.m. hearing at the Richland County Judicial Center.

The Richland County legislative delegation had sought legal representation from Richland County, but County Council did not take up the request when it met this week.

In 2011, the delegation changed the way the elections board and its chairman were appointed when merging what previously were separate elections and voter registration offices. Legislators also required Richland County to provide a budget for the new board comparable to that provided in Charleston and Greenville counties.

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