Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott, Columbia Police Chief William Holbrook, 5th Circuit Solicitor Byron Gipson and Richland County Chairman Paul Livingstone joined me at City Hall to discuss the importance of voters casting their ballots in an atmosphere safe from threat or intimidation, and how they should respond if incidences occur.
“Those who seek to disrupt Democracy by intimidating voters should expect to be prosecuted,” Solicitor Gipson strongly informed everyone, adding there is potentially a ten year prison sentence for voter intimidation or suppression efforts at the polls.
The ability for all citizens to safely participate in our election process, and the right to choose their elected representatives, is the bedrock of our American system of government and our Constitution. As such all state and local officials must ensure that safeguards are in place to protect the rights of Americans to cast their ballots in safety. For this reason, we want to let every voter know what steps they can take to ensure their safety when waiting to cast their ballots, and how to report and ask for support if threatening situations occur at polling stations.
The view the entire session and statements from myself and the officials gathered yesterday, view the VOTER INTIMIDATION DISCUSSION HERE.
For more information, here are links to some of the local media coverage:
‘Expect to be prosecuted,’ SC solicitor warns those who seek to intimidate voters –The State
Columbia, Richland County leaders promise swift action against voter intimidation, harassment – ABC Columbia
Columbia, Richland Co. leaders ensure voter safety at polls on Election Day – WISTV
Mayor Steve Benjamin