On Friday (03/22/13) the S.C. Supreme Court declined to hear the case against the penny sales tax referendum in a petition filed by Michael Letts and Citizens for New Elections in Richland County. The protest and petition to the high court resulted from the botched November elections in Richland County.
The South Carolina Libertarian Party finds the high court’s decision to be a grievous mistake.
In the high court’s decision to refuse to hear the Letts’ petition, it affirmed the decisions of the Richland County Election Commission and SEC to certify the election. By refusing to specify its reasons for declining to hear Letts, the S.C. Supreme Court has effectively killed any avenue for appeal within the state’s legal system.
Evidence shows the Richland County Election Commission violated the law. Duncan Buell, a computer science professor at USC, conducted an election analysis for the League of Women Voters. He reported there were 185 fewer voting machines used in the 2012 election, a presidential election year, than in 2010. Only six of Richland county’s 124 voting precincts had the number of voting machines required by law.
Federal law requires one machine for every 250 registered voters in a precinct. The law is reiterated in the SC Election Commission’s Poll Managers Handbook, p. 29.
The election was rife with irregularities. The installation of Richland County election officials by the legislative delegation was questionable at best. The failure to discipline irresponsible election officials afterward is also worthy of investigation. At the very least, the election commissions of Richland County and the State should have ordered new elections to preserve faith in the democratic process.
The questions remain: Is our Supreme Court guilty of complicity in the perfect crime against the taxpayers? Has it rubber stamped bureaucratic irregularities to the tune of 1.2 billion dollars? Or, is their refusal to hear the election protest a clever ruse to kick the question upstairs and into Federal jurisdiction? Either way, the voters of Richland County deserve to know that the laws and taxes they live under are not the products of abject stupidity or criminality.
Victor Kocher, Chairman of the SCLP said, “The lack of leadership at every level of government within our state is appalling and left unchecked will only encourage any unscrupulous election official to ‘McBride’ an election in their favor. The mark of real leadership is the willingness to cast politics aside and make lawful decisions even when they are painful. It is ironic and now highly likely the Federal Judiciary will be called upon to resolve this issue and defend the citizens’ most basic right.”
Editor’s Note: The above communication is a news release that does not necessarily reflect the editorial position of FITSNews.com. To submit your letter, news release, email blast, media advisory or issues statement for publication, click here).