SC

Mia McLeod: “OG” Has Got to Go

So let me get this straight. The 2012 elections in Richland County were nothing short of disastrous. Less than half of the requisite number of machines were deployed. Voters stood in line for hours and were disenfranchised in record numbers. Uncounted ballots made headlines for weeks. Incompetence and dysfunction became…

So let me get this straight.

The 2012 elections in Richland County were nothing short of disastrous. Less than half of the requisite number of machines were deployed. Voters stood in line for hours and were disenfranchised in record numbers. Uncounted ballots made headlines for weeks. Incompetence and dysfunction became synonymous with our county elections. So when the Old Guard (“OG”) swooped in to save the former Director, with blatant disregard for voters and their uncounted ballots, the question wasn’t if problems would resurface. It was simply a matter of when.

But don’t ever underestimate the power of the OG. They did their due diligence…at the expense of Richland County voters, of course. And after lying, cheating and stealing their way to a “new” hand-picked Director and Commissioners, our consolation prize was an empty bag of endless assurances that uncounted ballots and poorly managed elections were a thing of the past.

Fast-forward 12 months and here we are again…

“New” County Elections Director. City election. Smaller scope. Simpler process. What better opportunity to begin to restore voter confidence and showcase the “new and improved” Richland County Elections Commission?

Oops! Almost forgot to mention one little problem. There is no new and improved Richland County Elections Commission. Actually, there never was.

Now the OG may not be the brightest candles in the bunch, but this ain’t rocket science. And while I’m not one to say, “I told you so,” I must admit … it sure is tempting.

So if you’re wondering how, in a smaller City election, over 1,100 ballots weren’t counted, you’re not alone. And if this “preview” of what’s to come in 2014 has helped restore your confidence in the OG’s Election Commission, then you probably need to start packing a lunch and an overnight bag for your 2014 “Election Day Camp-out Excursion.”

But if you’re as tired of this foolishness as the rest of us and want to make sure your vote is counted and your voice is heard in 2014 and beyond, start taking names and holding these elected officials and their appointees accountable for shutting you out of the process and denying you your fundamental right.

And since you obviously don’t mind standing, perhaps you’ll stand with your more progressive members of the Richland County Legislative Delegation (yes…there are a few of us) as we fight to free the County’s elections process from our Delegation’s undue influence and move the process and oversight away from the County’s OG to more capable hands. Let’s face it … the OG and their hand-picked cronies obviously shouldn’t be running our County elections.

Maybe yours wasn’t one of the 1,100 uncounted ballots this time. Maybe you weren’t even disenfranchised last time. But if the OG has its way, your day is coming. And if the recent city election is any indication, probably sooner than later. So whether you’re having a 2012 Election Day flashback or a 2014 preview, it’s time to stand up and be counted. Your vote is your voice.

Tell the OG … they’ve got to GO.

Mia McLeod represents District 79 (Richland County) in the South Carolina House of Representatives.

Pic: Travis Bell Photography

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11 comments

Thomas November 25, 2013 at 10:06 am

Hi, I think Benjamin made it happen in 2012. He needed the money for his second term. The OG let it slide, really wanting it to go away since this was a presidential election. I also think the Bull Street go ahead was payback to the OG for looking the other way. Mayor Bob and his ilk is the OG and he is a progressive as much as you. Straight up. Now this 1100 missing votes slaps the OM (Old Money) in the face. They have two ways to drill Benjamin a new asshole: Take the election’s missing votes to Jean Toal or mount a voting bloc to crush the 12/7 strong mayor vote. I side with the strong mayor defeat.

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Edgar November 25, 2013 at 10:11 am

Or get your legislator to vote against Jean Toal in February, get an honest chief justice in there and get the RC mess in front of the court again. Toal is the hand in glove for this corrupt RC Elections Commission. I guess renting the black vote hasn’t been working well enough for Harpootlian and Toal in Richland County, so they had to cheat in other ways.

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Billy K Mulligan November 25, 2013 at 12:25 pm

They’ve needed to rent it for more than one “[a] day” and their stash is just not big enough.

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vicupstate November 25, 2013 at 11:26 am

I thought the election was 12/3

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cindy November 25, 2013 at 11:23 am

Mia, if they reported 1,100 missing votes, I can promise you there are more to be found. Wouldn’t that be something?

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major major November 25, 2013 at 11:35 am

Give ’em hell, Mia!

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CorruptionInColumbia November 25, 2013 at 11:53 am

Excellent post, Ms McLeod!!!!!!

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jimlewisowb November 25, 2013 at 12:11 pm

Love to wake up in the morning and hear the crunching sound of one cockroach eating another cockroach

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T-Bone City November 25, 2013 at 1:02 pm

The giant vortex of money being swallowed up by Columbia is starting to resemble a giant toilet bowl.

Hopefully all the turds get flushed down the drain before the money lubricating it all disappears.

Columbia= Detroit 2.0 in the early stages, just wait till T-Bone gets strong mayor powers.

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scotty November 25, 2013 at 3:55 pm

It would appear the writer has put her self in the sites of every corrupt politician in the county. Maybe she could get a security detail from the Sheriff, O wait he has his own family of corruption. Wonder if former Chief Shorty could run interference for her act like a midget human shield.

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shifty henry November 25, 2013 at 5:20 pm

She may have a pistol under her jacket, and she looks like she wants to use it……

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