Governor Haley says Atlantic Beach election will move forward

The power struggle in Atlantic Beach continues. Tuesday, residents of Atlantic Beach will head to the polls again to decide who will be the town's leaders.

In March, Governor Haley stepped in and ordered Horry County to oversee an election in Atlantic Beach on May 22nd after results from the November 2011 elections were thrown out and the town's election commission failed to set a new date.

In the November 2011 election, councilman Jake Evans beat incumbent Retha Pierce and councilwoman Windy Price in the mayor's race.

Joshephine Isom and Charlene Taylor were declared the winners of the two town council seats over Misty Umphries, Monique Pointer and James Van Fleet.

Price and Umphries protested to the town's election commission citing evidence of fraud, intimidation and questionable or phony voting machines from the county.

The commission overturned the election, left the incumbents in office but didn't set a new election date.

"I know there's resistance to it, but it also needed to be put to bed and needed to happen," said Haley. "So we're looking forward to seeing that happen and seeing Atlantic Beach move further."

According to the Civil Rights Voting Act, all changes in South Carolina elections must first be approved by the DOJ.

Monday, Pierce said she is not recognizing Tuesday's election and believes the Governor broke the law by setting the new election date.

But when asked if she planned to vote, she had no comment.

This election will not be held at the Atlantic Beach Community Center, where town elections are usually held, because the town's municipal judge will be holding court at the center for Bike Fest.

Tuesday's election will be held at the First Missionary Baptist Church off of Highway 17 in Atlantic Beach.

Polls open at 7 a.m.

Horry County Director of Registration and Election Sandy Martin said this will be the second time in three years the county has overseen a town election in Atlantic Beach.

She said the county has not received preclearance for the change in the voting precinct location.

However, Martin said the county often moves forward with precinct changes that have not been cleared by the DOJ at the time of the election but are approved at a later date.

The State Election Commission will also oversee Tuesday's election.