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      Richland County Elections Attorney presents possible solutions to fix voting process

      Richland County Elections Attorney Steve Hamm and his team have been working to resolve the issues that caused problems for Richland County voters.

      COLUMBIA (WACH) - Richland County Elections Attorney Steve Hamm and his team have been working to resolve the issues that caused problems for Richland County voters; many stood in line for hours to cast their ballot on November 6.

      It also took officials weeks to certify the results.

      Hamm addressed the Richland County Elections Board Wednesday afternoon providing board members with a detailed report about what went wrong on election day.

      "I was disappointed in this board. Am I criticizing you, no. But if you're going to hire me to have an opinion about this process, I'm surprised you all didn't havemeetings, regular and ongoing meetings, starting the summer before the election on a regular basis and asking questions and you didn't," said Hamm.

      Hamm says the biggest problem on November 6 was the "lack of appropriate number of voting machines assigned to each precinct."

      Hamm also presented several solutions on how to fix the voting process.

      "I've already suggested that the general policy that the board ought to adopt, direct to the staff, is when in doubt, round up so we can have the higher number of machines rather than the lower," said Hamm.

      Other suggestions include: establishing policies and goals at the elections office months prior to the election, re-examining performance standards, developing specific accountability for each voting machine, open lines of communication with county council, and re-evaluate current machines.

      Many of Hamm's ideas are in sync with Jasper Salmond's, the longtime professor is taking over for outgoing county elections director Lillian McBride. He will ser as Interim Elections Director.

      "Many of the things and points that he touched on, I had already written down," said Salmond.

      McBride taking much of the heat for the problems on November 6 announced her resignation last week.

      Board members proposed Wednesday that McBride be transitioned into a new role as Board of Voter Registration Deputy Director.

      The Board will meet again next Wednesday to make a final decision.