One of South Carolina’s top Democratic strategists is no longer a member of the S.C. Election Commission (SCVotes.org). Amanda Loveday, who serves as associate director of Columbia, S.C.-based NP Strategy, stepped down from the commission in July – less than eight months after she was appointed to the post by Republican governor Henry McMaster.
There has been considerable speculation in Democratic circles that Loveday – a longtime supporter of U.S. vice president Joe Biden – was leaving the commission to participate in the “First in the South” 2020 Democratic primary.
That does not appear to be the case … at least not for the moment, anyway.
Loveday told us late Friday that while her interest in Biden was “the worst kept secret in South Carolina politics, I haven’t endorsed a presidential candidate nor do I work for a campaign.”
So … what is the real reason she left the commission?
First and most importantly, Loveday appears to have done what she set out to do in accepting the appointment from McMaster.
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(Via: Millennium Magazine)
“I accepted the honor from the governor because of my interest in the electoral process,” Loveday (above) told us. “South Carolina was in desperate need of updating our systems.”
That’s for sure …
The Palmetto State has been plagued by voting issues in recent years, most notably in Richland county.
In June, SCVotes.org announced it had entered into a contract with Election Systems and Software (ES&S) to create “new paper-based system (that) will replace the state’s aging paperless system that has been in place since 2004.”
According to SCVotes.org director Marci Andino, the ES&S “express vote” system will “not only provide voters with a dependable system for years to come, but will also greatly enhance the security and resilience of our election process.”
This overhaul – which will be completed prior to the 2020 elections – creates paper ballots from touchscreens that can be machine counted or hand counted, if necessary, to verify election results.
“We will now be able to audit paper ballots to verify results,” Andino said.
In addition to having completed her role in overseeing this process (which we supported), Loveday is also reportedly looking to take on a more active role in the Columbia, S.C. city council campaign of her husband – educator John Loveday.
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John Loveday (above) is one of two challengers looking to knock off scandal-scarred incumbent Moe Baddourah in this fall’s municipal elections.
This news outlet will obviously keep an eye on Amanda Loveday’s presidential positioning in the weeks to come – although we suspect her husband’s campaign will keep her pretty busy for the next few months.
Assuming she does make a 2020 move, Loveday – a former top advisor to U.S. congressman Jim Clyburn – would obviously be a significant “get” for any of the aspiring “First in the South” presidential candidates.
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(VIA: GETTY IMAGES)