Fri, 04 Apr 2014 16:38:43 GMT — COLUMBIA (WACH) -- The Richland County Elections Commission has split into two offices and former elections director Lillian McBride is the new leader of the county voter registration board. Interim Elections director Samuel Selph tells WACH Fox the process to separate the two offices has been an ongoing process and it was finalized on Monday. Selph said he has submitted a letter informing Richland County Elections Commission Chairman Allen Dowdy, Judge Thomas Cooper and Richland County Delegation Chair Joe Neal that boards have officially split. This will be McBrideâ??s second run as director of the voter registration board, she previously led the voter registration office before being promoted to elections director. McBride resigned as elections director after a botched election in November of 2012 that left voters waiting in line for more than eight hours, votes not being counted and ballots misplaced. In her resignation letter, McBride fully accepted the responsibility for the election debacle that took place in November. She also welcomes the opportunity to "serve the Elections and Voter Registration Office in some capacity." After resigning as elections director McBride took a position as director of voter registration and absentee services. A report investigating problems with the election showed the county sent out hundreds fewer voting machines than legally required. The final ballots in Richland County weren't cast until after midnight Election Day. The elections office has been under a microscope since that 2012 election by lawmakers and citizens. Since then the office has hired and fired former elections director Howard Jackson. One day after the board voted Jackson out he shared his side of the story, making claims of misconduct and illegal activities happening in the Richland County elections office. Jackson said when he took office, there was a power struggle with the board and that ultimately led to his termination. Jackson met with the State Law Enforcement Division to hand over evidence and key documents.
The Richland County Legislative Delegation is currently working to fill seats on the elections commission board.
The South Carolina Republican Party issued a statement on Lillian McBride being named Director of the Richland County Board of Voter Registration:
â??Sadly, today isn't April Fools' day. Itâ??s more like Groundhog Day. The more things change in Richland County, the more they stay the same,â?? said SCGOP Chairman Matt Moore.
â??Todayâ??s news is a slap in the face to voters who stood in line up to 7 hours on Election Day 2012. Ms. McBride had a direct hand in that debacle, yet she remains unaccountable."
Columbia attorney and house district 75 candidate Joe McCulloch said
"During the 2012 election, I watched hundreds of my neighbors stand in line for hours, voters denied the right to vote in unknown numbers, and then watched and waited as votes were found in closets and back rooms for a week. I absolutely share, as a voter and a candidate then and now, the same crisis of confidence felt by most of our community. I call for the Richland County delegation, whose elected members are responsible for the county election office, to reevaluate the staff and board, and the performance of that office so Richland County voters can finally have confidence restored in the electoral process. We need the community voice heard and representatives that will ensure every voter gets to cast their vote, and that it will be counted honestly in November."