SC

Group Calls For Richland County Re-Vote

SALES TAX HIKE AT CENTER OF BREWING POLITICAL SCANDAL In the wake of rampant voting irregularities – and allegations of voter suppression – a group is calling on Richland County, S.C. to take a mulligan on last week’s election. At the heart of the controversy is passage of the so-called…

SALES TAX HIKE AT CENTER OF BREWING POLITICAL SCANDAL

In the wake of rampant voting irregularities – and allegations of voter suppression – a group is calling on Richland County, S.C. to take a mulligan on last week’s election.

At the heart of the controversy is passage of the so-called “penny sales tax hike,” a $1.2 billion tax increase that voters approved last Tuesday.  Proceeds from the tax hike are supposed to go toward infrastructure and the continued operation of the area’s money-losing public transportation system (which benefitted from a separate energy tax hike last year) – however that’s not where a lot of the cash has been earmarked.

And at this point it is painfully obvious that last week’s election was rigged.  Richland County election officials flagrantly violated a state law requiring there to be a specific number of operational voting machines at each precinct – and their violation appears to have been confined to precincts where opposition to the tax hike was the strongest in the last election.

As a result thousands of registered voters – most of them likely to vote against the tax increase – were subjected to wait times ranging as long as four to seven hours, prompting many of them to give up their quest to vote.

Yeah … that’s how they roll in Haiti, not here in the “land of the free.”

Anyway, leaders of the anti-tax movement are calling for a re-vote … arguing that the tax hike passed illegally.

“My guys are calling for a county-wide re-vote,” said R.J. Shealy, a spokesman for the “Vote No” contingent.

They’re right … although given the number of contested races that were impacted by this shameful fraud it’s not immediately clear what sort of remedies are available to the aggrieved parties (i.e. Richland County taxpayers).  Also, even if there were a way to isolate the penny tax vote from the rest of the races on the Richland County ballot last week, there is no way to duplicate the electoral environment that existed last Tuesday – as a special election would likely favor the pro-tax forces (whose leaders are able to shuttle dependents, government employees and other core constituencies to the polls efficiently no matter what date an election is scheduled).

Party bus, anyone?

That’s what makes this crime so egregious … the fact that there’s literally nothing that can be done to make it right.

Meanwhile, the mainstream media in South Carolina continues to view the whole episode from within the narrow lens of government incompetence as opposed to seeing the bigger picture: Election fraud.

In the absence of a re-vote, Shealy said his group would “appeal to Richland County leaders in the hopes they would scrap this tax increase.”

We concur.  It’s not clear at this point how this mess should be resolved, but there is absolutely no way that county leaders should permit a tax hike to take effect under these circumstances.

***

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40 comments

The Artist formerly known as ? November 12, 2012 at 12:42 pm

I find the irony of SC closing its schools in an effort to help people pick thier executioners pretty funny.

Hell, it’s just SC public school anyway.

:)

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vicupstate November 12, 2012 at 12:45 pm

Yeah … that’s how they roll in Haiti, not here in the “land of the free.”

Actually, if indeed this was deliberate, and I believe it was, they simply took a page out of Karl Rove’s book. The specific chapter was 2004 presidential election Ohio.

I agree the results should be set aside, with a new vote in two years.

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tomstickler November 12, 2012 at 6:23 pm

Ask the voters in Cuyahoga County about it.

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Jan November 12, 2012 at 1:17 pm

“As a result thousands of registered voters – most of them likely to vote against the tax increase – were subjected to wait times ranging as long as four to seven hours, prompting many of them to give up their quest to vote.

Yeah … that’s how they roll in Haiti, not here in the “land of the free.”

This is a joke, right? I guess if you only watched Fox News on election night you would not have seen the 4 to 8 hour lines at Democratic leaning precincts throughout Florida and Ohio (both states whose election process was controlled by Republicans); but they were there. Despite repeated calls to Florida Governor Scott to increase early voting hours to reduce the lines in the Miami Dade area, he refused; giving no reason and offering no solutions to the lines. Voter suppression by making it as difficult and expensive to vote as possible, have apparently become very American at the hands of Republicans and very widespread.

Unfortunately for the suppressors, many of the people whose vote they are trying to suppress are unwilling to give up their vote so easily. Maybe white suburban voters should take a lesson from them. Stay in line, no matter how hard they make it.

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The Artist formerly known as ? November 12, 2012 at 1:32 pm

Yea! Screw their job(if they have one), voting is more important…lmao!

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Koch Brothers lackey November 12, 2012 at 1:42 pm

What the Hell are you doing posting on the Internet on company time whatever the Hell your name is?

Get you sorry ass back to work!

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Jan November 12, 2012 at 1:47 pm

So your implication is that if those in charge of the elections make it impossible for you to vote without taking time off work you should just give up.

I think that was the intent. Most people are not paid when they take time off to vote. Long lines make voting expensive for those people. That is why those seeking to suppress the vote do nothing about the long lines.

That may very well have happened in Richland County. It certainly happened throughout Ohio and Florida in a much more important election; but the shoe was on the other foot there, so we can pretend it did not happen and offer platitudes like, that’s not how we do it in America. When apparently increasingly it is exactly how we do it in America.

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The Artist formerly known as ? November 12, 2012 at 1:47 pm

Great thing is it’s my company time.

:)

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Smirks November 12, 2012 at 1:58 pm

I wouldn’t knock anyone for posting here on “company time” as you don’t know what their work situation is.

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The Artist formerly known as ? November 12, 2012 at 1:59 pm

“So your implication is that if those in charge of the elections make it impossible for you to vote without taking time off work you should just give up.”

Actually, I didn’t imply that, you just assumed it. The question is much more complicated than that and involves an individuals set of personal cirumstances.

As for the rest of what you wrote I somewhat agree.

The simple fact is the demographics surrounding who can vote if a 4 hours wait(on average) is involved is obviously dramatically different when looking at two groups:

Unemployed & employed

Of course, you can toss all sorts of fun “what ifs” around and what not or look at different groups different ways with different criterea.

You could naturally take it a step further and ask the next question naturally: “How would each of these groups differ in voting and how does the disenfracisement of either group potentially change the outcome?”

But that’s already been addressed in Will’s write up.

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The Artist formerly known as ? November 12, 2012 at 2:01 pm

Kudos to you Smirks!

Even further, if I bang out 10 comments in 15 mintues who knows, it could be an indicator of how much I get done in a day even in between my shenanigans here.

:)

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Jan November 12, 2012 at 2:17 pm

I really don’t understand your comment at all. I guess what you were saying is if the demographics are such that a higher percentage of the precinct is unemployed its ok to have longer lines. But that’s just screwing the employed people in that precinct. Unless you are proposing we have polling places were only unemployed people go and those lines can be as long as we like.

There is a simple answer. Make it as easy as possible for everyone to vote. Expand early voting. Expand voting hours. Expand mail in voting. Stop trying to hold the election all on one day, in one 12 hour period.

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The Artist formerly known as ? November 12, 2012 at 2:20 pm

” I guess what you were saying is if the demographics are such that a higher percentage of the precinct is unemployed its ok to have longer lines.”

Jan-Honey(not to be condescending), I know I come off as “negative” sometimes but I’m not bad.

I don’t mean that at all, I mean that if you making voting so intrusive on certain people that it changes the outcome of elections.

If you believe that democracy is the way to go, you have to at least make the process as easy for EVERYONE as possible.

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Jan November 12, 2012 at 2:27 pm

Since our last sentences are identical we have have reached an accord. To bad we can’t simply implement it.

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The Artist formerly known as ? November 12, 2012 at 2:38 pm

Some people(on both sides of the current paradigm) don’t want any fix implemented.

I’m not sure it really matters much though Jan. Many people have put too much faith in various gov’t and their apparati.

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The Artist formerly known as ? November 12, 2012 at 3:05 pm

edit: “not THAT bad” :)

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EJB November 12, 2012 at 1:31 pm

I do believe the story is about precincts in a county in SOUTH CAROLINA and about an increase in the SALES TAX. Perhaps you meant to comment on another story?

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Jan November 12, 2012 at 1:58 pm

I know exactly which story I am commenting on. The article is about voter suppression, which is apparently un-American when it affects white suburbanites.

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EJB November 12, 2012 at 3:35 pm

So, committing criminal acts against white people is ok?

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Jan November 12, 2012 at 5:33 pm

Since I am a white suburbanite, I obviously do not think anyone should suppress anyone’s vote. But don’t tell me its not how we do it in America when the people who are complaining votes were suppressed have not complained once about Republicans suppressing the vote of others, by way of the exact same tactic they are compaining of.

I would not let long lines prevent me from voting.

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Smirks November 12, 2012 at 2:01 pm

Either way this is a major screw-up. Either you deal with the results as they are or you hold a second election and those who don’t show up, for whatever reason, don’t get to have their vote counted.

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SC Southpaw November 12, 2012 at 2:31 pm

I thought these guys were fiscal conservatives. How much will it take to “revote”? How big will the legal bill be to defend the county from their stupidity? There are makers and takers alright. DePass, Letts, and Hutchinson are clearly at the front of the line with their hands out.

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Smirks November 12, 2012 at 2:49 pm

How much will it take to “revote”?

Less than a penny tax over the next 20 years. Unless, of course, the penny tax passes on the re-vote as well.

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Jackson McPhee November 13, 2012 at 2:48 am

There shouldn’t be a “special revote” on the tax increase. The revote shouldn’t occur until the next time there is a statewide or countywide election anyway.

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bud November 12, 2012 at 2:53 pm

There have been accounts of voting irregularities and count irregularities from all the battleground states. Some national news source needs to aggregate them and investigate.

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Watchingrichland November 12, 2012 at 2:57 pm

Voters who wish to have a new election can have their voices heard by going to http://www.fair-election.com and filling out the online form.

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Ralph Hightower November 12, 2012 at 3:06 pm

I don’t think the SC Supreme Court or the US Supreme Court would rule for a “do over” , unless it was clear that there was systemic fraud committed by Richland County and Columbia.

I don’t want to see the penny sales tax for transporation unless Richland County or Columbia reduces their other sales tax.

I’m sure that there are plenty of people who want a “do over” of the 2010 election, now that SC Governot Nikki Haley has shown her true stripes. I’m willing to bet that there’s a bunch of Tea Baggers who would’ve voted for someone else in the GOP primary.

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Nullifer November 12, 2012 at 4:04 pm

If I’m not mistaken, the remedy for an improper ballot question procedure is just to nullify it and the promoters can do it next time around. It’s not like an elected official where there “needs” to be a warm body selected one way or the other.

I’m really surprised there has not been a challenge. I’ve seen a guy who looked two steps away from homeless beat a penny increase pro se based on an informational flyer.

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Queen Jean November 12, 2012 at 5:29 pm

I’m have it all in my hands now, subjects. You know I will do the right thing – for me.

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Bozo November 12, 2012 at 7:17 pm

The real question is how to keep this type of fraud from continuing to happen in SC.
This same thing happened in Colleton County in November 2010 – not enough working machines disenfranchised voters and nobody did a dam thing about it.

First- Get ride of the machines and use paper ballots. No one can tell you to wait five hours because the paper ballot broke down.
Paper ballots are dependable and inexpensive.

Let’s at least make an effort to get the voting process right.

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9" November 12, 2012 at 7:29 pm

Who gives a shit? It’s just a penny,you cunt sucking bastards.

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junior justice November 12, 2012 at 7:36 pm

You must have been stroking yourself while the discussion was proceeding – find someone to read the posts to you.

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Jackson McPhee November 13, 2012 at 2:52 am

It’s a greater than 14% increase, 9″.

“Just a penny” is a lie.

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Chris Memminger November 12, 2012 at 7:34 pm

Sore losers. If this results in another election I will paint your house. I dont even vote in Richland County but this is baeless and will never take place. Wishing dont make it so.

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Jackson McPhee November 13, 2012 at 2:56 am

If you wanted to vote down this tax and stood in line for 2-7 hours to vote and found out later that the county election commission had only provided your precinct with half the machines required by law, you would want something to be done about it, Chris.

Unless you’re just one of those “don’t care” losers.

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Tony November 12, 2012 at 7:47 pm

My wife and I stood in line for 3 hours and left at 8:30 because we were both worn out from working all day. A neighbor told us they did not vote until 10:30 and they actually saw the results on their IPAD while standing in line.
A lot of people were leaving the line and NOT ONE of them was for the sales tax.
This was a rigged election for the sales tax increase and was planned.
Go to this site and ask the FBI to investigate, you do not have to give your name etc. Several people I know have gone there and asked the FBI to investigate. The more that ask, the more likely it will be. A lot of political big shots were really pushing the sales tax increase because they stood to make a lot of money. People need to go to jail for this scam election.
Go to the site and ask the FBI to investigate.
https://tips.fbi.gov/

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Jim November 13, 2012 at 9:40 am

An elected official should request the State Election Commission to information detailing by precinct voting machines being used past 7:30 p.m. in Richland county .

They should also tell the public the number of voting machines by precinct that could not last through the entire day without breaking down.

This type of information is readily available from the election officials.

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Jan November 13, 2012 at 1:57 pm

Didn’t the Voter ID law fix the voting problem in SC?

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Jackson McPhee November 13, 2012 at 4:39 pm

Do you always try to change the subject in midstream, or are you just so clueless that you can’t fathom doing otherwise?

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Guy Fawkes November 16, 2012 at 8:55 pm

Voter suppression lol. What the hell is the guy who wrote this smoking? I want some.

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