Richland Co. Board of Voter Registration and Elections names new director

Updated: Jun. 19, 2020 at 6:18 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - The Richland County Board of Voter Registration and Elections has officially named a new director after the group was tasked with finding someone to fill the position more than a year ago.

Alexandria Stephens currently serves as the elections coordinator in Jefferson County, Alabama, and has eight years of experience.

Stephens won’t start the job in Richland County until some time after July 3, but she will be in town Monday to meet members of the board.

“I look forward to working with everyone there, and hopefully, we can dive right in, and you’ve discussed some of the challenges that you all have had, and I’m hoping that I can come in and find a way to change some of those things around,” said Stephens.

During Friday’s virtual meeting, Chair of the Board Charles Austin also gave a breakdown on what to expect for Tuesday’s democratic run-off elections. Austin noted polling locations for the four democratic run-offs in Richland County will be the same as they were for the June 9 primary.

A total of 28 precincts will be used Tuesday, and Austin says postcards noting precinct changes have already been sent out. He also says there will be enough PPE for poll workers, and the board does not anticipate a poll worker shortage. This week, poll workers also participated in some in-person training with the State Elections Commission. The board also discussed Friday making sure poll workers who worked late hours on June 9 are compensated for that time.

It was also announced Friday afternoon that interim director Terry Graham is “not well” and will not be in charge of Tuesday’s run-offs. Lashaun Curry, who serves as the director of training and compliance for the State Elections Commission, will be coordinating Tuesday’s race.

“All of us share a common concern and that is to ensure we have fair elections and that every citizen, every voter will have the confidence that their vote will be counted,” said Austin.

If you applied for an absentee ballot for the June 9 primary, you should also be sent one in the mail for the June 23 democratic run-offs. That absentee ballot needs to be submitted to the Richland County Voter Registration Office before 7 p.m. Tuesday.

The Voter Registration Office will also be open Saturday, June 20 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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