March 5, 2013 Meeting Minutes

Location of Meeting:
Office of the Pickens County
Registration & 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
Ms. June Bowers
Ms. Jane Goolsby
Mr. Noel Anderson

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

Members Absent:
Mr. Herb Thompson, Jr.


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 gave a special thanks to Ms. Bowers for all her hard work while being the Commission’s Chairperson for the past term and to Ms. Robinson for her help whenever it was needed.

Chairperson Campbell asked for the approval of meeting minutes from January 15, 2013. Ms. Chapman moved to accept minutes as presented. Ms. Robinson 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. Director Allen reported that the Liberty Special Election to replace Rick Clark’s seat was cancelled due to the fact of only one person filing for the position, and no candidate declared their intentions to run as a write-in candidate during the two week period following candidate filing Charles Powell will serve out the remainder of Clark’s term.

Director Allen announced that a Special Election for the Liberty City Council Ward 2 Seat has been scheduled for May 28th, 2013 to fill the unexpired term of Councilman Walt McJunkin who passed away on March 2, 2013.

Director Allen stated “budget meeting went well; however, will not know if we got everything we have requested until the final budget is passed.” During the budget meeting Director Allen was asked by the County Administrator, Chap Hurst  about the possibility of the county printing and mailing all voter registrations cards again  because a number of voters who did not receive a new card during the countywide mail out which was generated by the SC State Election Commission.  Director Allen explained that voter registration cards without a picture can no longer be used as ID to vote at the precincts and all voters would need to show one of five forms of picture IDs.  Also, the vast majority of voter registration cards that kicked back because the voter had moved and failed to update his or her address with our office.    Future registration cards will be printed and mailed directly by our office, not the SEC due to issues with their printing process.  Other issues addressed during the budget meeting were the purchase of new voting equipment, postage, overtime, and temporary office staff.  Also, Mr. Hurst asked Director Allen to possibly speak at the next County Council meeting set for April 1, 2013 to provide this information to County Council.  Mr. Hurst also indicated that there were some concerns from a member of County Council over the straight party voting, specifically as it related to persons who voted Democratic Straight Party in the November 2012 General Election and voted for Republican Candidate Rick Clark.  This did not break their Democratic Straight Party ticket, because there was no Democratic Candidate to deselect for the office of Sheriff in that election.

Director Allen discussed the importance of the SC State Election Commission-Voter Registration and Election Commission Certification Program for the Commissioners and full-time office staff.  The SEC will withhold stipends of Commissioners who are not compliant.

Mr. Allen stressed the April 15, 2013 deadline for Commissioners to file their 2013 Statement of Economic Interests with the State Ethics Commission online.

Director Allen announced the Veterans Affairs Officer Advisory Election is scheduled for the May 11, 2013. Mr. Allen explained the procedures and requirements of this election. Mr. Allen mentioned that County Administrator Hurst asked that the Registration and Elections Commission request that the Pickens County Legislative Delegation change the VA election to just one voting location…our office, since County Council pays for this election and it makes more since for it to be held in just one place for such a small voter turnout (approx. 400 voters).

Director Allen addressed possible polling place changes for several precincts, stating  certain locations used during the 2012 General Election may not have been the best choice. Mr. Allen noted he would like them to be specially listed on our agenda prior to voting on them next meeting April 2, 2013.

Director Allen spoke briefly about the latest bill, H3197, which would place the State Election Commission under the Office of Secretary of State.  An amendment is being drafted for this bill to also pull County Election Commissions under the Secretary of State as well.

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 business. There was none.

Chairperson Campbell opened the floor for all new business and it was as follows:

1.  City of Liberty Special Election – Certification of single filer as winner

2.  Vote to Approve VA polling locations (schools):

Polling Place Polling Location Address Confirmed Use of School   Facilities
Dacusville Middle 899 Thomas Mill Road, Easley, SC  29640 yes
Gettys Middle 105 Stewart Drive, Easley, SC  29640 yes
RC Edwards Middle 1157 Madden Bridge Road, Central, SC  29630 yes
Liberty Elementary 251 North Hillcrest Street, Liberty,   SC  29657 yes
Pickens Elementary 567 Hampton Avenue, Pickens, SC  29671 yes

Ms. Robinson made motion to approve the above schools as polling locations for the upcoming Veterans Affairs Officer Advisory Election. Ms. Bowers seconded the motion. With all in favor and with no discussion passed unanimously.3.  Permanent Precinct Polling Place Considerations:

  • Consider moving 116 Mountain View Precinct  (1,096 voters) from the current Mountain View Church, which is outside of the Mountain View Precinct, to the Mile Creek Baptist Church, which is in the center of the Mountain View Precinct. This would move the voting location within the precincts boundaries.
  • Consider moving the 142 Crestview Precinct (1,118 voters) from the Presbyterian Home which is outside the Crestview Precinct, to Smithfields Country Club which is inside of the Crestview Precinct or to St. Michaels Episcopal Church, which is inside the McAlister Precinct but located about the same distance from its current location.
  • Consider moving the 143 Sitton Precinct (1,137 voters) from the current St. Michaels Episcopal Church to the Presbyterian Home.  The Presbyterian Home is inside of the Sitton Precinct and is the voting location of the 142 Crestview Precinct.  This would move the voting location within the precincts boundaries. Currently, and legally speaking, residents of Presbyterian Home have to drive to St. Michaels Episcopal Church to vote.
  • Consider moving the 129 West Liberty Precinct (1,062 voters) from the Liberty First Baptist Church, which is outside the West Liberty Precinct, to Calumet Baptist Church Fellowship Building, which is inside the West Liberty Precinct. This would move the voting location within the precincts boundaries.
  • Consider moving 128 Rices Creek Precinct (1,071 voters) from the Former Liberty Middle School (now a county owned building, Councilman Neil Smith’s community center) to the Liberty First Baptist Church. This would move the voting location within the precincts boundaries.

The Commission discussed the above polling location changes; however, no votes were taken.  These will be on the agenda for the next Commission meeting scheduled for Tuesday, April 2, 2013.

Chairperson Campbell asked for meeting to be adjourned. Mr. Anderson made motion to adjourn, and Ms. Chapman seconded the motion. With all in favor and with no discussion meeting adjourned.

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