Embattled Richland County elections director to resign - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Embattled Richland County elections director to resign

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On Election Night, Lillian McBride looks at several PEB's from polling locations across the county. On Election Night, Lillian McBride looks at several PEB's from polling locations across the county.

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Richland County's embattled elections director will step down from her post, according to a member of the county's legislative delegation.

Representative Todd Rutherford (D-Richland) says Lillian McBride's attorney, John Nichols, told the delegation of McBride's intent during a closed-door session Wednesday afternoon.

"I think it's appropriate that the public expect we did something and I think something has been done," said Rutherford. 

"Given the reports that came out and given all the information that we learned the fact that she has now resigned but hopefully can continue in a position to help the people of Richland County, maybe that's a good thing, maybe it's not," said Rutherford. "But I think right now the fact that somebody is paying for the election mess is what everyone was asking for."

The resignation, according to Rutherford, will be effective January 8th. The decision comes two days after the commission's chairwoman, Liz Crum, stepped down.

"So this delegation is not done trying to fix the problem," said Rutherford. "We just wanted to address the problems that happened November 6th and her resignation does that."

McBride sent the media an email late Wednesday to point out that she has not officially resigned.

"Dear valued members of the press," McBride wrote. "This is to inform you that I have not submitted my resignation to the Board of Elections and Voter Registration or to the members of the Richland County Legislative Delegation."

"Any discussion of this is entirely premature and erroneous," concluded McBride.

McBride and other members of the county elections commission have been criticized after voters were forced to wait as long as six hours to vote on Election Day in November.  The decisions leading up to the debacle are currently under investigation.

"It's about the citizens we serve," said  Representative James Smith (D- Richland). "It's about making sure that everyone has access to the ballot and to the extent that a single citizen in our county or anywhere in SC  denied access to the ballot because of the fashion and the way things were run, then change needs to occur and we need to move forward."

After the meeting, Michael Letts, who leads a group protesting the Richland County sales tax referendum said:

"Whether she resigns or not, our Legislative Delegation can't sweep this matter under the rug. For the delegation to simply accept a resignation and do nothing else would be to sweep it under the rug. If they're not demanding a full, immediate, open investigation, they're doing a disservice to their constituents and to the county as a whole."

"With only one or two exceptions, such as Rep. Mia McLeod, very few of our 'leaders' seem the least bit interested in getting to the bottom of this."

Saying there has yet to be a fair hearing on the election issue, Letts said he will appeal the protest to the South Carolina Supreme Court.

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