Statement on yesterday’s primary elections

I was so fed up yesterday evening I fired this off in a series of tweets.

“As I do every election, I spent time today visiting polling locations in our community and thanking the volunteers. From my visit and conversations with the poll workers, as well as the voters waiting in line, it’s apparent we still have issues in Richland County.

While I look forward to the report from the election commission and the election office, I know what I’ve seen first-hand today. Too few staff. Too few equipment. Too many problems.

Certainly, this pandemic affected the number of volunteers; however, when names of volunteers from the South Carolina State Guard are given to your county election office, and those volunteers are not contacted, it makes me question the judgment of the office.

When FIVE large precincts are combined into one location and only two keyboards to sign-in voters are sent to the poll, it makes me question the judgment of the office.

For these reasons and more, I call on the Richland County Election Commission to move swiftly to hire a permanent director. I also call on my Richland County delegation members to move swiftly to help me and Representative Finlay appoint a Republican to the vacant seat on the commission.

My colleagues and I are tired of this constant struggle on behalf of our voters and it is absolutely imperative the Richland County Voter Registration & Elections Officer and the Election Commission review what went right and wrong and fix any issues long before the November elections are here. “


  1. Marlene Ellisor Gantt says

    Representative Ballantine,
    Thank you for your blog comments. These are almost identical to mine! The Richland County Election Commission has been a mess for longer than I can remember. When Lillian McBride was removed from her position yet allowed to continue to be employed with the Commission, that was definitely of a recipe for disaster. Having voted in Richland County for every election for the last eleven years, I have noticed a lack of diversity in polling place workers. Of course, this year COVID 19 played another impact on workers. I’m totally leery about the validity of the constituents’ votes when I see the “garbage” going on in the County–not just Election Comm. It’s always been said, “Don’t complain if you can’t present a solution!” Too many of us have seen too much inadequacy in leadership in Richland County for the last 20 years to step forward. Maybe it’s time? If Craig Plank realized it’s a hopeless situations, . . . . . . .? Makes me sorry I moved to Richland County! Thanks for your stand. Thanks for a place to vent!!