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Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- Don't expect any orders for new elections or recounts from the Richland County Elections and Voter Registration Board.

The group denied three protests in hearings Monday morning saying it did not have enough evidence to overturn the penny tax referendum, or District 7 and 8 county council races.

"We must abide by the law and the statute that we have before us now and the evidence that has been presented, it's not enough to make us do anything other than what have done," said board vice-chair Allen Dowdy.

Dowdy presided over the hearings as Chairwoman Liz Crum recused herself because of a connection between the law firm she works for and those working to pass thepenny tax.

Michael Letts argued for a new election on the penny tax and county council district 8 seat, a race he lost to incumbent Jim Manning.

Letts asked the remaining board members to recuse themselves as well because they played a role in the election. That request was denied.

He questioned the number of voting machines used on Election Day saying the county disregarded the state statute to use one machine for every 250 voters, something that he says left some without a voice.

Letts called several witnesses, including elections employees and director Lillian McBride.

She offered no new information, repeating that they did not have any solid information on the number of machines used on Election Day. She again referred to the pending report, that could provide more details.

The board also denied a protest filed by Celestine Parker, who lost the council district 7 seat to Torrey Rush by more than 9,500 votes.

She but mentioned newly found votes over the weekend and said the numbers didn't add up, but Rush says the board did the right thing.

"I agree with the results, I think there was no basis really for the protest, but she's within her rights. I'm just happy that it's over now, and we can proceed to move forward," said Rush

As for Letts,he plans to take his request to the next level, the state election commission, and to the state supreme court after that if needed.

"This commission cannot police itself, it's unfair to ask them to do so, and so consequently that's why an impartial body, the state election commission needs to hear this," he said.

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