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After completing a courtroom-style hearing Thursday night, the Republican Party of South Carolina’s executive committee voted to overturn Joe Dill’s protest of the District 17 Greenville County Council’s primary election result.
Joey Russo, the winner of this primary, will face environmental scientist Sheryl Guarniero, a Democrat, in the general election in November.
Dill filed his protest after losing to Russo by 132 votes in the June 14 primary. Dill claimed there were irregularities at polling stations in his district, including poll workers not being properly sworn in and calibration issues with voting machines.
At a special meeting last Thursday, the Greenville County Republican Party’s executive committee voted to back Dill’s protest after hearing first-hand accounts from voters who said they encountered trouble.
Greenville GOP sides with Dill: Greenville County Republican Party cancels primary over alleged voting irregularities
Greenville County Electoral Officer Conway Belangia said he had not received any formal written complaints from voters about the District 17 race, and he said he was surprised to hear allegations of trouble calibration with the voting machines.
“That was news to me,” Belangia said. “We were not aware of any calibration issues.”
Russo appealed the county GOP’s decision to the state party, prompting Thursday’s hearing.
The state GOP decision comes after tensions rose last week between state and county party leaders.
Subscribe for more: SC and Greenville County Republicans at odds as GOP plans to cancel primary
Greenville GOP Chairman Jeff Davis claimed the state’s executive committee waived its right to hear Russo’s appeal because he failed to meet a June 25 deadline set by the South Carolina Election Commission, but a state GOP spokesperson disagreed, saying the state executive committee had until July. 2 to hear calls.
Check back for more on this developing story.
– Tim Carlin covers county government, growth and development for The Greenville News. Follow him on Twitter @timcarlin_, and contact him at [email protected] You can support his work by subscribing to The Greenville News at greenvillenews.com/subscribe.
This article originally appeared on Greenville News: SC Republican Party Cancels Greenville GOP, Upholds Council Primary
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