Penfield protests election results

Two public hearings were held by the Lexington County Election Board on Friday, Nov. 10, for protests lodged by Irmo Town Council candidate Gabriel Penfield.

After making a social media plea to the Irmo public more than thirty people were present to either support Penfield’s claims or to share their inadequate experiences at the polls.

In the first hearing, Gabriel’s objection centered around 72 votes cast for disqualified candidate George Frazier and saying that the difference could have turned the election in his favor.

“I believe I would have received the majority of Frazier’s votes,” said Penfield. The difference was losing by 25 votes to Phyllis Coleman. His objection was addressed by the board who questioned staff on whether there were adequate notifications about Frazier’s disqualification. All agreed that everything had been done properly. At that point, the conversation turned to how the polls were staffed and handled. Chairman Dean Crepes reminded Penfield that “handling of the polls was not part of your protest.”

Penfield asked if citizens could testify. “Counsel has told me that I need everyone and everything on record in order to make an appeal,” said Penfield. Board chair Dean Crepes stated, “They can only speak to the name Frazier being on the ballot, anything else and I will sit them down.”

The board voted and upheld the election results as is.

The second hearing addressed a candidate’s physical address and what candidates are allowed to do on election day. No specific names were presented in the protest and Crepes explained how candidates are vetted when they file for office. “I’ve answered your questions on how we qualify candidates,” Crepes said to Penfield.

Penfield responded by saying that the board was not addressing the issues. The board put it back on Penfield.

“We are bound by what you wrote in your protest and nothing more,’ said Chairman Crepes.

The protest was quashed with the board upholding the election results as is.

“I failed to be articulate enough in my original protests,” said Penfield. “The board followed the letter of the law but I will appeal.”