August 13, 2013 Minutes

Pickens County Registration and Elections Commission
222 McDaniel Ave B-9
Pickens, SC  29671
August 13, 2013

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

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

Members Absent:
Ms. Jane Goolsby Weeks

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 Elections Commission to order at 4:30pm and welcomed everyone.

Ms. June Bowers gave the invocation.

Chairperson Campbell asked for approval of meeting minutes from June 4, 2013. Ms. Chapman moved to accept minutes as presented. Ms. Bowers seconded the motion. With all in favor and no discussion was passed unanimously.

There was no public present, but on Dr. Eleanor Hare’s behalf, Director Allen commented that the League of Women Voters has now moved their monthly meeting so they do not meet the same time as the Registration and Elections Commission meets. She can now attend on a more regular basis.

Chairperson Campbell turned the meeting over to Director Allen for his report. Director Allen thanked Madam Chairperson and everyone for being here. Director Allen discussed the important upcoming dates of November 5, 2013 Municipals Elections, November 7, 2013

Election Certification, November 19, 2013 Runoff (if needed), and November 21, 2013 Runoff Certification (if needed).  Director Allen also noted this will be the first election since the new “Voter ID Bill” has passed. County Administrator Hurst now requires all poll workers to be paid directly by the Cities themselves not by the County during Municipal Elections. This protects the county from treating these workers as employees.  Director Allen reviewed all Candidates who filed for November 5, 2013 Municipals Elections. He also explained that where the exact number of candidates filed as seats to fill those names would not appear on the ballots unless a resident came forward and declared their intention to run as a write-in candidate to the City Clerk no later than Noon, August 15, 2013. In this case there would only be three polling locations for the City of Easley for the Ward 2 district only, and also no election needed for City of Six Mile. Director Allen mentioned that all poll clerks have been appointed for all polling locations for the November 5, 2013 Elections.

Director Allen discussed the status of the Senate Bill 2 “Equal Access to the Ballot Act” (Candidate Filing). This bill is pertaining to the paper version of the Statement of Economic Interest that a candidate files with the state while in office or seeking office. Although a candidate has to still submit their Statement of Economic Interest; they would no longer have to turn it in while filing for candidacy. Director Allen noted that the Statement of Economic Interest filing deadline has changed and must now be filed by March 30th, instead Noon, April 15th. This Bill also states that partisan candidate filing will no longer be done with political parties but will be filed with the elections commissions, therefore, Saturday and Sunday before filing period closes, the Registration and Elections Commissions will have to be open four hours each day.

Director Allen stated that the Supreme Court ruled that Section 5 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act was deemed unconstitutional, so changes in voting procedures no longer require pre-clearance from the Department of Justice. However, Section 2 of this Law is still in full force.

Director Allen discussed important dates for next year June 10, 2014 Primaries with Election Certification on June 12, 2014, also June 24, 2014 for Runoff (if needed), and June 26, 2014 with Runoff Certification (if needed).  The General Election will be held on November 4, 2014, and November 7, 2013 will be the Election Certification. Also the Registration and Elections Commission will extend office hours for voter registration and will open the last day to register to vote which falls on Saturday, May 10, 2014 from 8am to Noon, and also on Saturday, October 4, 2014.

Director Allen commented on the new office security that has been put in place since the last Commission meeting. The Registration and Elections Commission main office now has new keyless entry locks that were furnished by the County. It now will restrict access to only persons approved. Director Allen mentioned that he had emailed all Commissioners a draft copy of the new job descriptions in which he has come up with to update the current office positions within the Registration and Elections Commissions Office. Director Allen discussed the class schedules for the Election Certification Program which staff members and Commissioners are required to for take per state law. Director Allen also gave an update on the SCARE Conference that is scheduled for March 10, 2014 through March 15, 2014 as for everyone to be thinking of who may want to attend possibly one Commissioner if County Administrator approves.  That concludes the Director’s report, and the meeting was turned back over to Madam Chairperson Campbell.

Chairperson Campbell asked was there any old or new business.

Old Business was as follows:

1.)    Chairperson Campbell asked that a motion be made on consolidating polling locations for the Municipal Elections for the Easley City Council Ward 2 seat and to eliminate the polling location for City of Six Mile scheduled for November 5, 2013. Ms. Bowers made motion to consolidate polling locations for Easley City Council Ward 2 and eliminate polling location for City of Six Mile for November 5, 2013 Municipal Elections. Mr. Thompson seconded the motion. All in favor and with no discussion was passed unanimously.

New Business was as follows:

1.)    Chairperson Campbell asked for motion to be made that the September meeting be canceled due to it falling on a holiday week. Ms. Chapman made motion to cancel the September meeting. Ms. Bowers seconded the motion. All in favor and with no discussion was passed unanimously. The next scheduled meeting will be Tuesday, October 8, 2013.

That being all of the old and new business Chairperson Campbell asked for a motion to be made for meeting to be adjourned. Ms. Bowers made motion for meeting to be adjourned. Mr. Thompson seconded the motion. All in favor and with no discussion was passed unanimously.

Meeting was adjourned at 5:37pm.


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