Here’s who voted to keep Adell Adams on election board

election vote

A screenshot from the minutes of the Sept. 5 meeting.

OK, now I have an answer to the burning question of who voted to keep incumbent Adell Adams on the Richland County election board. Here they are:

Here’s a link to the entire minutes, which include how everyone voted. The minutes were emailed to me this morning by Kimberly Janha, the legislative services coordinator for the delegation.

And once the strange weighted voting was fully tabulated (senators got more than representatives, and they were also weighted by the proportion of their districts in the county), here’s how the candidates fared:

  1. E. Peter Kennedy — 93.75 %
  2. Marjorie Johnson — 80.23 %
  3. Jane Dreher Emerson — 58.35 %
  4. Sylvia Holley — 56.36 %
  5. Adell Adams — 47.70 %
  6. Elaine Dubose — 41.64 %
  7. Christopher Kenney — 30.95 %
  8. Eric Mohn — 28.68 %
  9. Robert Tyson — 24.24 %
  10. William Spillane — 18.11 %
  11. Ken Gaines — 10.02 %
  12. Joanne Johnson and Pamela Sumter — 0 %

You’ll see that Ms. Adams was the only one elected with less than 50 percent — whatever that means, with this odd weighted system.

17 thoughts on “Here’s who voted to keep Adell Adams on election board

  1. Silence

    It’s an interesting split, since it’s mainly but not entirely along racial/party lines. The exceptions make it interesting.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Yes. For those who don’t have time to look them up, everyone who voted for Adams was a Democrat, and all were black except Bales and McElveen. Two black Democrats — Mia McLeod and Joseph McEachern — did not vote for either incumbent.

  2. Brad Warthen Post author

    On the BAD news side, six members voted for both Adams AND Elaine Dubose, the other incumbent trying (in her case, unsuccessfully) to hang on. Basically, it was the same group that voted for Adams, minus Rutherford and McElveen.

    1. Barry

      That should surprise no one.

      Recall, it was Jackson who was giving the previous Exe. director advice when she didn’t belong in the job.

  3. Leon

    Why would Sens. Courson and Lourie vote for long-shots? Courson even wrote in a name. What is going on there? If I am understanding this correctly if they together had voted for the 7th or 8th place candidate then Adelle Adams would not have been elected. I am cynical enough to see a possible deal here with the folks who supported the incumbents. Am I being too cynical? The whole process reeks as far as I am concerned. Why should the legislative delegation elect the county election board when County Council funds that agency?

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Well, I haven’t talked to Courson or Lourie about it, but Beth Bernstein was expressing to me the other day some disappointment at the short list of candidates that a committee of the delegation had put together. So it might be that they had people they had preferred all along, which the committee didn’t put on the short list…

      For instance, Kathryn has a made a good case why Duncan Buell should have been on the short list, but he was not. So if Kathryn had been a delegation member, I could see her voting for him, and that being the only vote.

      I notice from the minutes that Courson specifically asked the chairman, Rep. Neal, whether “write-ins and/or nominations from the floor were allowed.” Which implies that he wasn’t entirely satisfied with the nominees…

      1. Doug Ross

        What purpose would a write-in vote have in this vote? Unless someone was campaigning for a write-in candidate openly, it’s a wasted vote… likely on purpose. These are the compromises you love – where politicians trade votes now for votes later.

  4. Leon

    Wasn’t Jimmy Bales chairperson of the committee which came up with the short list? That tells you something right there. Brad, I guess I am just more cynical than you are. Something does not smell right here. Bunch of Democratic officeholders backing Courson so does he want to repay them for their support? Can’t prove it but why write-in a name when you know he will not win.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Because you told that person you would support him or her, and you thought he or she was a better candidate than the others. That’s why I would have done it.

      There’s no reason for Courson to want to sabotage the result. His district overlaps with those of Smith and McLeod, and those two Democrats have been pushing hard to reform the board, unlike the Dems who voted for Adams…

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        … which indicates to me that all three — Courson, Smith and McLeod — have been hearing from their constituents that they want their reps to clean house on the board…

  5. Brad Warthen Post author

    By the way, y’all…. I had been in touch with Nathan Ballentine over the weekend via social media — he, too, was anxious to get that vote breakdown — and this morning, I emailed him some general questions relating to the election.

    My intention was to reach out to several delegation members and ask some questions (not necessarily the same ones; with some, my questions would be more pointed), and write a post from that.

    But as so often happens, the day got away from me.

    So, since he bothered to answer, here are Nathan’s answers:

    Do you have any general comments about the new board that you’d like to share? While it has taken far too long to accomplish, I’m proud that the vision I outlined 21 months ago has finally come to fruition. Being one of only 3 Republicans in a 17 member delegation, it’s difficult to make changes quickly. Those finally happened and I’m glad some Democratic colleagues worked with me on those.. With the personnel changes made, smaller precinct sizes in our communities, and giving oversight authority to monitor our local office , I trust this new Board can restore the public’s confidence. Time will tell

    Here’s something I keep wondering: Is there time to do what this board needs to do between now and Election Day? . The new board should have put in place much earlier. In fact, we cast votes in May when we were sent ballots – only to be told that wasn’t really a vote. Still not sure about that. Even Sen. McElveen (maybe don’t mention him by name) asked at last week’s meeting “I can’t remember who I voted for the first time”. Putting the new board in place earlier certainly could have helped. I called for delegation meetings on at least two occasions before finally hearing we would meet last week. It’s my hope that he previous board and our previous director have been putting in place the plans, policies, procedures needed so that the office is already prepared for November’s election which is 60 days out. If plans aren’t already in place, the Board will be rushed to correct any ongoing issues that weren’t addressed previously.

    Beyond that, what are your expectations of the board going forward? I expect the Board to run professionally, transparently and to do everything possible to avoid future fiascos. I also expect them to publicly address the findings from the impending SLED investigation and immediately work to correct any policies, procedures that were not followed…including addressing any personnel issues as warranted.


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