Council denies additional funding for equipment for upcoming ele - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Council denies additional funding for equipment for upcoming elections

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

A majority of the Richland County Council did not want to see any added funding go to support the Department of Voter Registration and Elections.

Department heads initially asked for $1 million more to support upcoming elections in June and November.

At Tuesday’s council meeting, that amount would be decreased to about $229,000. However, that amount and a figure even lower than that would be quickly rejected.

If it were approved, election directors had planned to use the funds to replace old and failing voting equipment. It was a move that Councilman Norman Jackson and some thought would be a necessary investment in order to avoid catastrophic problems at the polls like what happened in 2012.

“We may have long lines or the machines may not work properly because of poor batteries or poor maintenance,” Jackson said.

But not everyone agrees.

Just last week, an email was sent to members of the council suggesting they “resist more funding” unless the elections office can show where and why it’s needed.

“The issues that arose in 2012 were not a product of a lack of funding," Councilman Seth Rose said. “The question becomes what is happening to the money and I cannot justify voting for additional funding.”

Additional money for the department will once again be the issue next week. Council members still have to decide whether to allocate more on a special election to fill Kevin Washington’s vacant seat.

That election is expected to cost up to $80,000.

Copyright 2016 WIS. All rights reserved.

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