South Carolina chief electoral officer resigns earlier than expected

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COLUMBIA, SC (AP) – The executive director of the South Carolina Election Commission left her post several months earlier than expected, with the agency saying she was taking a new job at a nonprofit that provides cybersecurity resources to election-related entities.

Marci Andino had planned to step down on December 31, but stepped down on Friday to take charge of the Electoral Infrastructure Information Sharing and Analysis Center, which is part of the nonprofit Center for Security Internet, commission spokesperson Chris Whitmire told The State. newspaper.

Until a permanent replacement is found, Director of Voter Services Howard Knabb will take the interim helm, Whitmire said.

At the helm of the agency since 2003, Andino implemented a new state-wide voter registration system, South Carolina’s new voter identification law, and the Voter ID process. submission of candidates.

Her departure follows tensions with Republican leaders in the state in the run-up to the 2020 election. She recommended tougher security measures amid the COVID-19 pandemic, including expanding the vote of absent.

“I have devoted most of my life’s work to ensuring that my fellow South Carolina compatriots have the opportunity to vote in fair and impartial elections,” Andino wrote in a letter of resignation. which surfaced earlier this year. “As I prepare to take on the duties of my current role, I am proud of our accomplishments. And as I plan for future opportunities, I will always remain steadfast in my dedication to preserving our democracy. “

One of Andino’s suggestions has been challenged in court and made it all the way to the United States Supreme Court: removing the witness signature requirement for mail ballots. But the court unanimously ruled that the rule should remain.

Andino also faced backlash when he served on the advisory board of Election Systems and Software, the country’s largest voting equipment company. Media reported that the provider covered nearly $ 20,000 in expenses for Andino over a decade before the company was awarded a contract to implement a new voting system in South Carolina.

She said she fulfilled her board role with the state’s ethics office and left the post before bidding on a new voting system.


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