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SC Republican Party to hear appeal after Greenville County GOP votes to overturn election results

WYFF 4 Greenville-Spartanburg logo WYFF 4 Greenville-Spartanburg 6/29/2022
Greenville County Council District 17 © WYFF 4 Greenville County Council District 17

The South Carolina Republican Party will meet Thursday to decide whether or not a Greenville County election should be overturned.

It comes after the Greenville County Republican Party voted last week to overturn the results of the June Primary for Greenville County Council District 17, which longtime councilman Joe Dill lost by 132 votes to challenger Joey Russo.

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The Greenville County GOP voted to overturn the results after Dill voiced concerns with voting machines, poll workers and issues submitting ballots.

"(A) lot of people have complained that their vote didn't get counted because the machines were torn up (and) machines were broken down," Dill said.

Joey Russo's campaign said it wasn't properly served Dill's protest as required by law.

Therefore, it said, the decision can't be valid.

The Russo campaign appealed the decision to the state Republican Party, which set the hearing for Thursday at 6:30 pm in Columbia.

In a statement, his campaign said the following.

“Last week's hearing was an orchestrated attempt to overturn the clear will of Republican primary voters in District 17. Among many other reasons, since Joey was not served with Mr. Dill’s protest as required by law, the committee’s decision is not valid and cannot stand. We have already appealed this ruling to the South Carolina Republican Party executive committee and have asked them to certify the original results and declare Joey Russo the winner. We anticipate that hearing taking place on Thursday. Joey looks forward to the general election and ultimately representing the citizens of District 17 on county council.”

But Dill and the Greenville County GOP believe that state law requires the SC Republican Party to have had the hearing by last Saturday, June 25.

"The issue and problem for Mr. Russo, unfortunately, is the fact that (Chairman) Drew McKissick and the state party did not have the hearing as required by law by noon of last Saturday,'" said Jeff Davis, Chairman of the Greenville County Republican Party. "So whether we did anything wrong or improper or didn't dot all the I's and cross all the t's which, you know, we'll concede that we probably did not, nor did the state party in those four hearings that they had last Thursday on that same day. It's a moot point because as long as you don't have that hearing on the 25th it's moot."

The South Carolina Republican Party disagrees and said that its upcoming hearing on the appeal is legal and in accordance with state law.

The State Election Commission said it can only order another primary election under the guidance of the state party, which means only the SCGOP can call for a new election in this case.


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