It’s the gift that keeps on giving.
The Richland County Election Commission met behind closed doors again yesterday to discuss their lone remaining candidate to take over the job once held by Lillian McBride. Two other candidates with question marks on their resumes have already dropped out. Unfortunately the final candidate comes with red flags of his own.
Howard Jackson, current Orangeburg County elections director, was the focus of a SLED investigation shortly after being appointed elections director in 2008 in a probe over the distribution and collection of absentee ballots. The case was closed after no evidence of criminal wrongdoing was discovered.
Jackson however failed to disclose this when initially interviewed for the position; otherwise I wouldn’t have a problem with it. What’s worse, his failing to mention it or the hiring board’s failure to uncover it? Tough question. Either way it’s just one more reason for the voters of Richland County to wonder if elections will ever be the same again as long as this bunch is running the show.
Here’s an idea. Start from scratch. And while you’re at it open the doors wide for everyone to see the process unfold. Only then will the commission have a chance to begin to rebuild trust with voters.
Yesterday’s meeting was the second closed door session in less than a week and there is another scheduled for tomorrow. Open it up for all to come and see. Maybe they will have a few ideas about what is best for the county since this board doesn’t seem to have a clue.