Today's State newspaper has an article titled "Smooth Richland vote was promised". It's a couple of pages long but here's the lowlites. Richland Elections Director Lilian McBride went to county council in May to say the 1.1 million budget wasn't enough to run the election. She needed $55,000 more to for more resources and to turn 2 pt jobs to ft. "She assured us the elections would go smoothly" council member Joyce Dickerson told the State. And I along with a bunch of other people say they went just the way they wanted. But it wasn't smooth! As a matter of fact Duncan Buell, professor at USC says Richland County was one of the 5 worst county elections in the country this year! Jim Williams who had the job of election voting machine technician for 13 years till he was replaced in 2011 said he met with Cheryl Goodwin who took his job over the summer and was shocked at how the maintance was going. In this State article he explains some of the shortcuts they were doing. We know that county council desperately wanted the penny tax passed because not only have they tried to pass it before, but they spent $50,000 of taxpayers money to educate us on the benefits of giving county council more of your money. They wanted this election screwed up because it's highly doubtful that in a down economy and councils announced plan of "just give us the money and we'll buy buses and bike paths and other stuff as we see fit" that it would have passed. Now there's no recourse for voters who waited till 1 in the morning to vote because Lilian McBride the woman behind all of this is untouchable! Unlike the other 1700 county employees McBride has no supervisor, and can't be fired or demoted by county officials. Her special status is due to a 2011 state law backed Richland county legislative delegation which combined and took control of the elections and voter registration agencies of Richland county. So there you have it. County council wanted 1.2 billion in tax payer money and couldn't get us to vote for it. Then in an election they remove machines from the GOP dominant precincts and leave the same amount in the Democratic precincts. Democrats say you are trying to surpress their votes when you ask for ID. But Republicans know you're surpressing their vote when you switch the wait time from an hour or 2 up to 4-5 hours, because they have businesses to get back to. The penny sales tax passed by 9000 votes and there was 15,000 fewer votes in this election than 2008's. There was also 30,000 more people who had registered to vote. So something discouraged them from turning out and logic would say it was the media coverage starting at noon talking about the marathon waits and broken machines. So now Richland county just became a less attractive place to do business because the cost of everything here is 1% more than it costs next door in Lexington county.