A member of the Georgetown County Board of Elections is upset at what he says is lack of information board members are receiving from chairman Dean Smith and Elections Director Donna Mahn.
At last week’s monthly meeting, board member Richard Butts expressed his displeasure that board members were not told about two laptops being stolen from the Elections Office in what he considers was a timely manner.
In November, Mahn told the Sheriff’s Office the two laptops were taken sometime between early October and Nov. 7.
She later told the Georgetown Times the computers did not contain any personal information of county voters.
At the Jan. 9 meeting, Butts said the board was not officially told about the thefts until its meeting on Dec. 12.
Chairman Dean Smith said the theft of the laptops was not discovered until Nov. 7 and the board was notified at its next regular meeting.
“We feared we would jeopardize the investigation,” Smith said. “We wanted the police to investigate this without it being all over.”
Butts told Smith the theft was reported in the Georgetown Times.
“Everybody who reads the Georgetown Times jeopardized the investigation, is what you are saying,” Butts said.
“I made the decision and I will take the heat. If you wish to take the heat, there. Since your judgment on this is so much better,” Smith fired back.
“As soon as we thought it was good enough to bring the case to you guys and let you know what happened and the procedures we were going to enforce so it won’t happen again, we did it.”
Smith then asked the board which other members have a problem with the way the situation was handled. The only other member to raise her hand was member Joyce Gunter.
By Scott Harper
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