Now when I wrote that headline I was hoping the first sentence would be something like "the committee voted to disband itself". But alas no. They have voted to spend a lot more money in order to ensure more confusion next election. Yea! Actually it was the commission asking the legislators to do this for them.
Jimmy Bales D Richland boasts "We know how to straighten up when we mess up"! Riiight! His co sponsors on this "mess-up-straighten-up" are Nathan Ballentine and Joe Neal. Who at least kept their mouth shut about it.
It will be the biggest change in SC elections in 20 years! Richland will create 25 new precincts. The only area not affected by this is downtown. So there's a good chance that next election will be more screwed up than the last because where you have voted for years will not be the place where you'll go to vote in the future. But rest assured they will mail you out the correct ballot location.
Please keep in mind that the people in charge of getting you the new info are the same folks in the news today for mailing new voter ID to the wrong person. As Thomasina Patterson tells the story "I thought there was something wrong with my eyes. They had the right info but that's not my picture". And here's where the story gets better. Thomasina called the Richland County Elections Office and they explained that another woman with the same name had requested an id but didn't want to register to vote. So they switched the photos on the id by mistake. But according to the interim executive director of the commission, Dr Jasper Salmond, "we don't provide ID's for people who don't register to vote". And in fact that the State Election Commission confirmed that "we don't the funds to provide unregistered people free id's. Richland County election officials tell WIS they'll put more safeguards in place and are working on a letter of apology to Patterson".
How long will they have to work to craft a letter of apology? And will they mail it to the right home? But if you're feeling any anxiety that this commision is totally inept, remember they have a new director on his way. Well not exactly on his way per se. Howard Jackson has signed a $78,000 a year contract but it only says he will eventually move from his beloved Orangeburg county home at some point in the future. No deadline as to when he has to live here which he already has said he'd rather do. Probably because our elections suck. Ho Jack who forget to mention he had been under investigation from SLED for election law violations a few years ago. Ho Jack who also forgot to mention he works like 100 hour a week doing other stuff other than Election business, between his suspect charity (HOJAC Enterprises) and real estate business and another 16 hours a week as an Air Force reservist. I'm sure once Ho Jack is in the house I mean in charge things will shape up fast.
As for the extra money Richland county taxpayers will now be buying 25 new voting machines for blind people as by law every precinct must have one even if there are no registered blind voters. And because of the difficulty in finding suitable buildings in the new precincts they actually wrote in a provision that polling places don't have to be in the precinct! Yes we are the only county in the state with that provision.