Could it be opening up Pandora’s Box? Or a can of worms?
Pawleys Island Town Council held a special called meeting Monday at the Pawleys Island Chapel to hear from attorneys and members of the public about allowing non-resident property owners to vote and hold office.
The offices of mayor and four Town Council seats are on the ballot on Nov. 5.
There’s been talk that mayoral candidate Brian Henry does not live on the island full time. Council members Guerry Green and Ashley Carter both acknowledge that they claim the island as their homes, but also live in Georgetown some of the time.
Attorneys Butch Bowers of Columbia and Billy Jenkinson of Kingstree talked to Council and about 4l0 or 50 people during the meeting. Several members of the public also shared their thoughts.
Bowers noted that he represented former Georgetown County District 5 Councilman Austin Beard when he appealed a ruling by the Georgetown County Board of Voter Registration and Elections. The Election Board voted unanimously in May that Beard did not live in District 5 and was therefore not a qualified elector.
Bowers said ultimately Beard withdrew an appeal of the ruling because – while he owns property in the district – he did not have a residence within District 5 for County Council.
Bowers was a member of the South Carolina Election Commission from about 2001 or 2002 to 2007. He served as chairman of the Election Commission from 2004 to 2007.
In his remarks, Bowers said that he believes a person who