May 7, 2013 Meeting Minutes

Location of Meeting:
Office of the Pickens County
Registration and Elections Commission
222 McDaniel Ave B-9
Pickens, SC 29671

Members Present:
Ms. Gretchen Campbell, Chairperson
Ms. Geneva Robinson, Vice-Chairperson
Ms. Sheree Chapman, Secretary
Mr. Noel Anderson
Ms. Jane Goolsby
Mr. Herb Thompson, Jr

Staff Present:
Mr. Rodney Allen, Executive Director
Ms. April Bagwell, Office Coordinator

Members Absent:
Ms. June Bowers

THIS MEETING OF THE PICKENS COUNTY REGISTRATION AND ELECTIONS COMMISSION WAS HELD PURSUANT TO THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT AND ALL REQUIRED NOTIFICATIONS WERE MADE.

Chairperson Gretchen Campbell called the meeting of the Pickens County Registration and Election
Commission to order at 4:30pm and welcomed everyone.

Ms. Geneva Robinson gave the invocation.

Chairperson Campbell asked for approval of meeting minutes from April 2, 2013. Ms. Chapman moved to accept minutes as presented. Mr. Thompson seconded the motion. With all in favor and no discussion was passed unanimously.

There was no public present.

Chairperson Campbell turned the meeting over to Director Allen for his report.

Director Allen thanked Madam Chairperson and everyone for being here. Mr. Allen explained the new SEC Certification Training Program changes for all Directors and Election fulltime staff which will require more classes and testing. Mr. Allen also noted some upcoming classes to be held August 6-9 in Columbia, SC, and explained that all Commissioners who have not already taken a certification class this year should plan to attend one of these classes.

Director Allen announced that on May 14, 2013 the “Division of Elections Bill” will be considered by the House Judiciary Committee again. Director Allen explained that this bill turns Election Executive Directors into political appointees that serve at the pleasure of the Secretary of State and the term of office would be concurrent with that of the Secretary of State. The bill also centralizes many of the functions currently under the Commission to the Executive Director. This would mean that the Executive Director of each counties elections office could be replaced when a new Secretary of State is elected. Executive Directors would answer to the Secretary of State at the state level, not to the local“Board of Canvassers” or their county governments.

Director Allen also explained that there are dangers at concentrating so much power under the Executive Director at the County level and Secretary of State at the State level, especially given that the Secretary of State is a partisan elected position. Director Allen also explained that, financially speaking, this bill would save counties money. One hundred percent of the Director’s salary and benefits would be paid by the Secretary of State. Fifty percent all other staff members’ salaries and benefits would be paid for by the Secretary of State, the other half would be debited out of the county’s aid to counties fund allowance. Since counties currently pay one hundred percent of the salary and benefits of their election directors and staff, this would be a huge benefit to counties. Counties would also save by not having to purchase equipment and supplies for the office, as that too would have to be paid by the Secretary of State.

Director Allen announced the only elections scheduled for the remainder of this year are the municipals elections of Central, Easley, Liberty, Norris, Pickens, and Six Mile which are scheduled for on November 5, 2013 with runoff elections on November 19, 2013 if necessary. He explained that candidate filing will open for all these municipal elections on Noon, July 18 and close Noon, August 1st, with the possible exception of the City of Liberty. Liberty failed to change their election ordinance to move their candidate filing from Noon, September 1 to Noon, August 1st. The Commission had passed a formal resolution requesting all municipalities in the county make this change on January 10, 2012 in order to allow production of UOCAVA ballots 45-days prior to the election, as required by state and federal law. Liberty had recently suffered turnover of their personnel in their city hall, but was going to try to get the required readings and Department of Justice pre-clearance in time for candidate filing this year. That being all of the Director’s report, Mr. Allen turned the meeting back over to Madam Chairperson Campbell.

Chairperson Campbell asked was there any old or new business.

Old Business was as follows:

1.) Consideration to move the 116 Mountain View Precinct from Mountain View Baptist Church (336 Mountain View Church Rd. Six Mile, SC) which is outside the precinct to Keowee Baptist Church (544 Keowee Baptist Church Rd. Six Mile, SC) which is in the center of the 116 Mountain View Precinct. The distance between the two locations is approximately 6.2 miles, and would affect approximately 1,099 registered voters. Ms. Robinson made motion to move the 116 Mountain View Precinct to Keowee Baptist Church. Mr. Thompson seconded the motion. All in favor and with no discussion was passed unanimously.

2.) Approval and signing of letter addressed to the Pickens County Legislative Delegation certifying Martha Dorset as the only applicant for the Pickens County Veterans Affairs Officer Advisory Election and notification of the election’s cancelation. Also stated in the letter further requesting that the Delegation Office consider amending the SC Act 489 of 1998 (Pickens County Veterans Affairs Officer Advisory Election) require only one voting location in future elections, that being the Office of the Pickens County Registration and Election Commission, due to the low volume of participants and the expense of opening the currently required five locations. The letter also contained a request to change the filing fee. Ms. Chapman made motion to accept letter as presented. Ms. Goolsby seconded the motion. All in favor and with no discussion was passed unanimously.

3.) Approval and signing of letter addressed to the Pickens County Legislative Delegation to permanently move all the following voting locations passed in our monthly meetings on April 2 and May 7, 2013:

Precinct Number
Precinct Name
Number of Registered Voters
and Demographic Breakdown
Current Voting Location and Address
New Voting Location and Address
Distance from Old Location
to New Location
116
Mountain View
Total: 1,101
Sex
Male: 531
Female: 570
Race
Black: 6
White: 1,090
Other: 5
Mountain View Baptist Church
116 Mountain View Church Rd.
Six Mile, SC 29682
Keowee Baptist Church
544 Keowee Baptist Church Rd.
Six Mile, SC 29682
6.2 Miles
128
Rices Creek
Total: 1,077
Sex
Male: 511
Female: 567
Race
Black: 40
White: 1,021
Other: 16
Former Liberty Middle School
310 W. Main St.
Liberty, SC 29657
Liberty First Baptist Church
403 Edgemont Ave.
Liberty, SC 29657
0.2 Miles
129
West Liberty
Total: 1,070
Sex
Male: 488
Female: 582
Race
Black: 42
White: 1,026
Other: 2
Liberty First Baptist Church
403 Edgemont Ave.
Liberty, SC 29657
Calumet Baptist Church
400 S. Peachtree St.
Liberty, SC 29657
0.7 Miles
142
Crestview
Total: 1,127
Sex
Male: 520
Female: 607
Race
Black: 31
White: 1,081
Other: 15
Presbyterian Home
205 Bud Nalley Dr.
Easely, SC 29642
Smithfields Country Club
100 Pine Ridge Dr.
Easley, SC 29642
1.2 Miles
143
Sitton
Total: 1,140
Sex
Male: 544
Female: 596
Race
Black: 70
White: 1,040
Other: 30
St. Michaels Episcopal Church
1200 Powdersville Rd.
Easley, SC 29642
Presbyterian Home
205 Bud Nalley Dr.
Easely, SC 29642
1.5 Miles