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Lawmakers Launch Investigation Into Richland Election Problems

8:38 PM, Nov 7, 2012   |    comments
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Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- Lawmakers are launching an investigation into what caused problems at the polls in Richland County, like long lines and broken machines.

"We know that somebody messed up and we're gonna find out who that person is," said Rep. Todd Rutherford.

"It is outrageous that someone would have to take four hours from their work to vote. That is denying, I think, to that fundamental right," said Rep. James Smith.

Both lawmakers showed up at the county election office with questions about what went wrong at the polls.

"To figure out what happened, to find out who's responsible, " said Rutherford.  "To make sure it never happens again."

The entire Richland County legislative delegation will join with Richland County council member for a hearing next Tuesday at 11 a.m. to get answers on what happened, but Rutherford already has an idea about one thing that wasn't right in many county precincts.

"It violated the law, we in the state house make sure that there's one machine for every 250 people voting in a precinct that was not present yesterday," said Rutherford. 

"We're gonna make sure the public understands what occurred so they can have confidence and know that there's gonna be a legitimate fix in place and it's not gonna be a problem going forward," said Smith.

South Carolina Republican Chairman Chad Connelly has also called for an independent investigation into the Richland County Election Commission.

"The voting problems in Richland County are absolutely unacceptable. Voters should not have to stand in line for three or more hours, or wait until 2AM, to cast their ballots. And it has taken all day TODAY - 24 hours after the polls closed - to tally votes," said Connelly.  He says all voters deserve better from their government.

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