Seized voting machines won't be used in upcoming primary | January 11, 2012
By Lindsey Theis

No action has been taken since Judge Bradley Mayers ordered Horry County and Atlantic Beach to work out their own agreement about what will happen to two voting machines currently being held by the Horry County Sheriff's Office.

The machines were seized from Atlantic Beach by sheriff's deputies on December 13th, after Horry County said they made repeated attempts to get the town to return them. 

In court December 21st, Judge Meyers said he was taking it under advisement that both parties, Horry County and Atlantic Beach, would come to an agreement about who would take possession of the machines. He added at the time if the two sides could not reach an agreement, they would have to come back to court.

No time frame was given.

Horry County spokesperson Lisa Bourcier said the county and the town plan to sit down to discuss it after the holidays.

Fast forward to January 11th. It's been a week since county and town workers have returned from work after the holidays, but according to Bourcier, nothing has been done at this point.

"No, we haven't tried to contact them. We are getting to it. We only have two attorneys in our office. They did say they would get up with that," she told NewsChannel 15 Wednesday afternoon.

NewsChannel 15 also contacted Atlantic Beach interim town manager Benny Webb about the matter, and were told to contact election commission chairman Nicole Kenion. Upon calling Kenion and telling her we had questions about the voting machines we were told "no comment."

NewsChannel 15 reporter Lindsey Theis then asked if she was familiar with any contact between Horry County and Atlantic Beach to resolve the seizure of the voting machines.

"No comment," Nicole Kenion replied.

After asking if there was anyone who would talk, Kenion replied "no comment" a third time and hung up.

Bourcier says while the county had originally argued they needed the machines for the GOP Presidential Primary on January 21st, that's not the case now.

"We can't use them because of the court order," Bourcier said.

She added that the county is planning on pulling voting machines from other precincts to compensate.

"If a precinct has four machines we might pull from that one and they will have three machines instead," Bourcier said.

Atlantic Beach's community center is a polling location for the election. The primary is a county run election so poll workers will be from Horry County, not Atlantic Beach.