Lillian McBride hired in new position at election commission

Published: Jan. 16, 2013 at 10:28 PM EST|Updated: Apr. 4, 2014 at 3:28 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Lillian McBride, the former executive director of the Richland County Election Commission who resigned from her position after questions arose in the wake of Election Day headaches that  forced hundreds of voters to wait in line to cast a ballot, has been hired back to the commission in a new role.

Interim executive director Dr. Jasper Salmond has hired McBride as deputy director of voter registration and absentee services.

Salmond says this plan is one of more oversight, accountability and transparency.

"We're looking for across the board cooperation, collaboration and working especially with the community," said Salmond.

The interim director added he wants to work with the public to clean up the perception of incompetence and lack of confidence.

"My position is that you don't plan for people you plan with them," said Salmond.

As for hiring McBride as a deputy director, Salmond says he was following the Board's orders -- despite concerns about public perception.

Chairman Allen Dowdy says he, too, wants to create credibility and efficiency. He believes McBride's 20-year resume will help move the County in the right direction.

"Perception a lot times can be because the media and other folks bring it out. The county has been doing a lot of good things," said Dowdy.

Critics blame McBride for the debacle that occurred among county polling sites on Election Day. Hundreds of voters had to wait as long as six hours to cast ballots at precincts in Richland County.

Others claim Richland County voters have lost confidence in the Election Commission with McBride being rehired. Not so, says Dowdy.

"I don't think you can say that the citizens of Richland County does not have any confidence. That's what you're saying. If you take a survey, if you want to be accurate, then you should do some poll survey. And I think you'll find out that that poll is gonna come out differently," said Dowdy.

At last count, a poll on our website suggests that just over 97 percent of you do not have confidence in the commission.

Voters that spoke with us have also been very candid about how they feel about their confidence.

"Well, with a 10 being the greatest, I'm at a 1," said Richland County voter Peter Kennedy.

"As of today, we've seen absolutely no change in any personnel anywhere. We have the same people who were involved to begin with."

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