October 4 Commission Meeting Minutes

Pickens County Registration and Elections Commission

222 McDaniel St. B-9

Pickens, SC 29671

October 4, 2011  

4:30 p.m.

Members Present:   Mrs. June Bowers, Chairperson;
Mrs. Gretchen Campbell, Secretary;
Mr. Noel Anderson;
Mrs. Sheree Chapman;
Ms. Jane Goolsby;
Mr. Herb Thompson
Staff Present: Mr. Rodney Allen, Executive Director; Mrs. Stacey Kitchens, Office Coordinator
Public Present:  Ms. Frances Plotnik, League of Women Voters
Members Absent: Ms. Geneva Robinson, Vice-Chairperson (excused)


Chairperson Bowers called the meeting of the Pickens County Registration and Elections Commission to order at4:30 p.m.and asked if all notices of the meeting were posted as required by the Freedom of Information Act. Director Allen replied that the notices had been posted. An invocation was delivered by Mrs. Gretchen Campbell.

Chairperson Bowers stated that the first item of business was approval of the minutes from theSeptember 6, 2011meeting of the Commission. Mr. Noel Anderson motioned to accept the minutes from the previous meeting. Mr. Herb Thompson seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

There was no public comment.

Director Allen followed with the Director’s report. The Department of Justice (DOJ) has requested more information from the State Election Commission (SEC) regarding the Voter Registration ID Bill. After theSECsubmits the additional information, the DOJ will have 60 additional days to pre-clear the bill.  Marci Andino from theSEChas asked the DOJ not to pre-clear the Voter ID Bill until after the November election cycle due to the great amount of work the bill will create. Approximately twenty-five people across the state took advantage of the free ride from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in their effort to help people register to vote.

The following dates should be marked on the calendar:

 November 1, 2011: Commission meeting will provide election-day assignments for each commissioner.

 November 8, 2011: Municipal election,7:00 a.m.- 7:00 p.m.(Absentee scanning at 9:00 a.m.)

 November 10, 2011: Certification hearing at9:00 a.m.

 November 22, 2011: Municipal runoff election, if needed from 7:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m.

 November 23, 2011: Runoff election Certification hearing at 3:00 p.m.

 November 24-25, 2011: Commission Office closed.

 November 26, 2011: Protest hearing, if necessary.

 Absentee voting will start Monday, October 10, 2011.

Director Allen brought to the Commission’s attention the hiring of two new staff at SEC. Sondra Stephenson is the new Director of Voter Services, and Arlene Criswell is the new Director of Public Information and Training.

Director Allen also announced that the Voter Registration and Elections Management System (VREMS) is almost ready to use, but will not be implemented before the November Municipal elections. VREMS should be ready about mid-December.  According to theSEC, the new systems will not go live until all 46 counties have signed off on it.

Director Allen discussed the 2012 Presidential Preference Primaries (PPP). The date for the Republican PPPisSaturday, January 21, 2012. The Democratic Party is still trying to decide if they will have aPPP. If so, the date is scheduled forFebruary 28, 2012. At this time the Attorney General’s opinion on the 2008 law, SC Code of Laws 7-11-20B, is that a court would add “and Hereafter” so that the provisions of the 2008 bill would apply for all futurePPP’s. SCARE does not agree with the AG opinion and has sought the assistance of the Association of Counties. The concern of SCARE and the SC Association of Counties is the unreimbursed expenses, such as overtime and temporary help.  Marci Andino from theSEChas stated that they only have $680,000 available for reimbursement of thePPP’s.  SCARE and the Association of Counties have projected that it will cost approximately $2.5 million to conduct these elections. Pickens County Council voted October 3, 2011 not to spend any money for thePPP’s unless they are reimbursed beforehand or given a promissory note from the State that the expenses in question will be fully reimbursed. Consequently, workers need to be recruited as volunteers, and told they will only be paid if theSECor the Political Parties providePickensCountywith the money to cover the expenses.  Director Allen also stated that several counties, the SC Association of Counties, and SCARE have filed a lawsuit against theSECand the Parties concerning the reimbursements to the counties.

Chairperson Bowers asked if there was any old business that needed to be addressed. There was none.

Chairperson Bowers asked if there was any new business that needed to be addressed. There was none.

There being no further business, Chairperson Bowers asked for a motion to adjourn at5:15 p.m.Mrs. Sheree Chapman made the motion to adjourn and Mrs. Gretchen Campbell seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously, and the meeting was adjourned.

Respectfully Submitted
Gretchen Campbell, Secretary

You may download a printable copy of the minutes by clicking the download button below:

The above minutes were approved in the regular monthly Commission Meeting held Tuesday, November 1, 2011.