Court rules merger of county election agencies invalid

Richland County Election Commission
Richland County Election Commission

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - A Richland County court has ruled that a merger of two county agencies handling elections and voter registration was invalid.

A civil complaint was filed by William DePass Jr. of the South Carolina Public Interest Foundation against members of the Richland County legislative delegation.  The complaint says the 2011 merger of the Richland County Board of Voter Registration  and Richland County Election Commission violates the state constitution.

The ruling against the merger was released this week.

According to court documents, DePass is a former member of the State Election Commission, serving as its chairman from 1990-1997. The court documents also say the state attorney general claimed the merger action was unconstitutional.

DePass told WIS, "It means we go backto the situation as it was before the law was passed."

WIS has attempted to contact several of the people named in this case.  We have called the Richland County elections officials to determine what's next and have not gotten a response.

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