Elections officials deny three protests to Richland Co. ballot

Elections officials deny three protests to Richland Co. ballot

Richland County elections officials denied three protests on Monday after spending most of the day hearing complaints about the handling of last month's election.

After an effort to soften his approach, tax protester and county council candidate Michael Letts went on to argue his case that Richland County election officials had intentionally violated the law.

Letts alleges those violations left thousands of people standing in long lines on election day with some of them eventually giving up without casting their ballots.

Letts made identical arguments for overturning results of the penny sales tax referendum and his race against District Eight incumbent Jim Manning.

And with his presentation, the most vocal critic of the tax had a chance to directly question Election Director Lillian McBride under oath.

But McBride's answers and the testimony from a string of other witnesses failed to convince commissioners.

Attorneys for the county and CMRTA repeatedly scored with objections and later ripped apart Letts' arguments.

In addition to rejecting the protests of the penny tax vote, commissioners turned down Letts' protest of his council race and one lodged by District Eight candidate Celestine Parker, who lost overwhelmingly to Torrey Rush.

Letts says he now plans to take his protests to the state election commission and perhaps to the state Supreme Court.

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