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March 21, 2014

Judge gives Richland legislators April 1 deadline to resolve election board issue

A judge has given Richland legislators about a week to resolve their legal problems with the make-up of the county elections board.

A judge has given Richland legislators about a week to resolve their legal problems with the make-up of the county elections board.

During a closely watched, 15-minute hearing, Judge Thomas Cooper urged the Richland County legislative delegation and its last-minute lawyer, Alex Postic, to move quickly. He said he expects a solution before April 1.

“It just can’t linger, Mr. Postic,” the judge said. “It’s too important to the citizens of Richland County.”

Last year, Cooper ruled in a separate lawsuit that the 2011 merger of the county elections and voter-registration offices were unconstitutional because they were done by a local law. Friday, Greenville lawyer Jim Carpenter and his client Rusty DePass asked the judge to force the board to stop functioning.

The judge, though, took that request under advisement and placed the onus on Postic to submit a proposed order both sides could agree upon.

Dawn Hinshaw

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