A special election for Chester County’s supervisor will go forward early next year.
Supervisor Carlisle Roddey, the incumbent, says he won’t appeal a recent election commission ruling to the S.C. Supreme Court, paving the way for a re-run of November’s race for the county’s top executive.
“I’ve been a street-fighting boy all my life, and I’m willing to get into a fight again,” Roddey said.
The S.C. Election Commission voted Dec. 1 to order a new election for the supervisor’s job after Roddey’s challenger, Shane Stuart, argued voting irregularities in some polling places interfered with his bid to unseat Roddey.
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Running as a petition candidate, Stuart came within 230 votes of defeating Roddey.
Stuart’s attorney, Steve Hamm, submitted the wording of a formal order based on his arguments to the commission last week. Once the commission’s staff makes some legal edits, the order will be officially posted to both candidates in the disputed race.
“I don’t know what day yet, but I expect the order will be issued this week,” Hamm said.
The candidates will have 10 days to appeal the order to the state Supreme Court. Otherwise, Gov. Nikki Haley’s office will set a new election date within 75 to 90 days.
In November, 10 out of 21 polling precincts had missing ballot styles, which meant some voters received ballots that were missing uncontested races for the county council and school board.
Although the supervisor’s race was represented on all countywide ballots, Stuart believes the hassle and confusion for those who may have been sent to the county elections office to cast their ballot could have discouraged enough voters to cost him the victory. He also claimed voters were denied their right to a secret ballot, since some who cast paper ballots at the elections office filled them out while seated at open tables.
The election commission didn’t cite a specific reason for overturning the election at its Dec. 1 meeting but asked Hamm to write up the formal election order.
The supervisor’s race is the only one getting a new election because it was the only one successfully appealed to the election commission.
“I’ve had candidates ask me that before if all the races get to have a new election,” Hamm said. “And I say, ‘No, because you didn’t appeal.’ ”