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'A lot of moving parts': Richland County Elections deputy director rescinds resignation

The Richland County Board of Elections had no one else to turn to ahead of the November election.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Richland County is heading into election day with less leadership in their Voter Registration and Elections office. 

At the start of the Delegation meeting on Tuesday, there were three vacant seats on the county board of elections. 

Director Alexandria Stephens sent her resignation on Thursday August 18, soon to follow came the resignations of Deputy Director Terry Graham and a county commissioner.

"It's a lot of moving parts from here…. to a whole lot of moving parts," Graham said of his decision to resign.

During the meeting, the board took an executive session with Richland county members present. After 20 minutes behind closed doors, the board returned and Terry Graham announced he would rescind his resignation.

“I know I submitted my resignation yesterday but I’m resending my resignation to stay on as the Deputy Director until the first of the year, January," he said. 

RELATED: Richland County poll workers react to late paychecks

The Deputy Director said he decided to rescind after he realized there was no one to take on the role of director. If Graham hadn't decided to step forward the delegation would have to start from scratch 77 days before the November election.

Representative Leon Howard, Chairman of the Delegation said the board encouraged the decision to rescind.

“He was encouraged to rescind his resignation. The delegation has pledged our full support to Mr. Graham to make this election process very successful," Rep. Howard said.

The Legislative Delegation is the governing body that appoints the elections commission. In turn, the commission hires the election director. 

No members of that group were at the meeting. News 19 reached out for comment from the commission's chair but never heard back. 

RELATED: Richland County Elections director resigns, official confirms

Representative Annie McDaniel was also not in attendance at the meeting, but she said personnel matters are not the delegation's responsibility.

“The governing body is just that the governing body and from my understanding, we do appoint the directors of the election commission and it’s their responsibility to hire a director," she said.

While Graham is staying on, there are still gaps in leadership, including the person in charge of securing poll workers.

The Richland County Board of Voter Registration and Elections will hold a meeting Wednesday, August 24th at 5 p.m. to discuss personnel issues. 

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