Protest hearing set following results of Pawleys Island election

Protest hearing set following results of Pawleys Island election
Residents living in Pawleys Island discuss whether part-time resident should be allowed to vote and run for office. (Source: Samantha Kummerer)

PAWLEYS ISLAND, S.C. (WMBF) – A protest hearing is scheduled for next week after the results of the Pawleys Island municipal election were certified.

According to information from Georgetown County, the hearing will take place Tuesday, Nov. 12, at 10 a.m. in Georgetown County Council Chambers on Screven Street.

Two separate protests were filed by current mayor Tommy Braswell and town council candidate Josh Ricker.

While the protests were separate, the two listed the same nine grounds for the hearing. They included a ballot hearing failing to consider the legal standard for determining an individual’s residence and failing to consider substantial evidence to property ownership.

The town of Pawleys Island certified the results of the Nov. 5 election on Thursday. Challenger Brian Henry received 78 votes while incumbent Braswell received 58 votes in the race for mayor.

Both candidates were originally tied on Election Day because there were about 20 votes in question, but it appears the election office let those votes stand.

There were questions surrounding Henry’s residency because he ran using his business’ address on the island, which is the Seaview Inn. He owns another property less than a mile off the island.

He told WMBF News he’s registered to vote at the Seaview Inn, his vehicles are registered there and it’s the address on his driver’s license.

South Carolina’s law doesn’t set time limits on how long or often a person lives in a location to be eligible to vote in that area.

Under state law, a person is eligible to vote and run for election in the area where their ‘domicile’ is. Domicile is a legal term that is defined by the law as “a person’s fixed home where he has an intention of returning to when he is absent.”

The letters requesting the protest hearing can be read below:

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