Richland Lawmakers Select New Elections Board Member

5:38 PM, Jun 11, 2013   |    comments
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Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- A new face and voice will join Richland County's election board.

The county legislative delegation met Tuesday to select a new board member, filling the last vacancy on the panel.

"I think it has been very distracting for the voters in the county to have this kind of discord, the only way we can clear that up is through performance," said Rep. Joe Neal, who was appointed the new leader of the delegation.

Richland County lawmakers and leaders are working to make changes.

The House of Representatives has allocated money to fund 25 possible new precincts to cut down lines during voting.

The board of elections has selected Howard Jackson to head the county's elections office. He attended the delegation meeting, but said he wouldn't give interviews until he started his position later this month.

Lawmakers also voted to make Allen Dowdy the elections board chair.

"We have to prove to the voters that we've got our act together, that things are running the way they should run," said Neal.

To make that happen Richland county lawmakers have selected elections volunteer Samuel Selph to fill the last remaining vacancy on the county's elections board. He will take the seat left open by former elections chair Liz Crum.

The choice came from three finalists that included USC professor Dr. Duncan Buell, who worked with the board's attorney Steve Hamm following November's election mess.

Selph, who has helped run a precinct in Richland since 1984, says he wants to keep the county's elections out of the media.

"I believe that if we continue to make those decisions that the people of this county will not question, we can get out of the newspaper and back to running elections," said Selph.

He says voters in his precinct did not see some of the problems others faced last year. He hopes that experience will help him make a positive impact on future elections in the county.

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