Lawsuit filed to dissolve Richland County Elections Board - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Lawsuit filed to dissolve Richland County Elections Board

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An attorney representing The South Carolina Public Interest Foundation, James Carpenter, talks to WIS after a meeting with the Richland County Board of Elections Wednesday. An attorney representing The South Carolina Public Interest Foundation, James Carpenter, talks to WIS after a meeting with the Richland County Board of Elections Wednesday.
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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

The South Carolina Public Interest Foundation filed a lawsuit Thursday against the Richland County Board of Elections and Voter Registration to dissolve the office and form two offices.

The group contends that how the office is made up violates the state constitution.

Current board members Allen Dowdy, Adell Adams, Elaine Dubose and Herbert Sims are named in the lawsuit. Samuel Selph, who stepped down from the board to become interim director, is also listed.

Adams, Dubose and Dowdy were appointed to the board in May 2011, and Sims was appointed in November 2012, according to the State Election Commission. A spokesman for the commission did not know when Selph was appointed.

One of the plaintiffs named in the lawsuit, William "Rusty" DePass, served as a member of the State Election Commission from 1988-1998 and served as its chairman from 1990-1997.

The S.C. Public Interest Foundation is the same group that filed suit against the Richland County Legislative Delegation last year.

The county delegation is responsible for voting in members of the Richland County Elections and Voter Registration Board.

The non-profit's attorney argued the combination of the two offices and the legislative delegation's authority over the board violated the state's constitution.

A judge ruled last year in favor of the S.C. Public Interest Foundation and ruled the Richland County Elections and Voter Registration Board invalid and in violation of the law.

The lawsuit asks that all activities of the board since Dec. 30 be null and void.

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