The ongoing controversy over Richland County’s botched November elections has taken another surprise turn.
Liz Crum, the chair of the Richland County Board of Elections and Voter Registration, submitted her resignation letter Tuesday, effective immediately. That came one day after she suddenly announced her plans to step down after the commission’s Monday meeting. Crum said she has lost confidence in embattled Richland County Director of Elections and Voter Registration Lillian McBride.
“It is now obvious that I can no longer continue as chairman of the Board and exercise my duties in good faith,” Crum wrote. She said she had lost her confidence in the election’s aftermath and after a report from the board’s attorney found the county deployed 200 fewer voting machines on Election Day than state law requires.
“There is nothing that we can do to change the events of November 6 and the events leading up to the election,” Crum wrote, “What we can do is make sure that Richland County never has such poorly planned and conducted elections again. In my view, this involves a change in the directorship of the office.”
Crum, who has served on the county’s election commission since 1998, had said before Election Day that she planned to step down in March. Monday also marked the first time that a board member had called for McBride’s resignation.
The website Patch.com reports that Rep. James Smith (D-Columbia) became the first Democratic legislator to call for new leadership on Tuesday. Two Richland County legislators (Republicans Nathan Ballentine and John Courson) have previously called for McBride’s resignation. However, McBride has the support of the Richland County legislative delegation chairman Sen. Darrell Jackson (D-Columbia) and others who says she deserves another chance.
The Richland County legislative delegation will meet Wednesday afternoon.