Judge orders Horry County, Atlantic Beach to reach agreement on voting machines

Judge Bradley Mayers has ordered Horry County and Atlantic Beach to work out their own agreement about what will happen to two voting machines currently being held by the Horry County Sheriff's Office.

In Wednesday morning's hearing, Horry County's attorney, Arrigo Carotti, argued the county needed the machines back. Horry County says they need the machines for the upcoming GOP Presidential Primary on January 21st.

The machines were seized from Atlantic Beach by sheriff's deputies on December 13th. Horry County said they had made repeated attempts to get the town to return them.

Kenneth Davis, the attorney for Atlantic Beach, argued that the machines are needed because Atlantic Beach's November election is in dispute. The town's mayor, Retha Pierce, says that's why she wouldn't return them to the county. She called the machines evidence in the fraudulent election.

Pierce is the current mayor of Atlantic Beach even though she was beaten by Councilman Jake Evans in that November election.

The election was disputed and a new election has been ordered, but Pierce says they're waiting on the town election commission to tell them when the new election will be held.

At the end of the 90 minute hearing, Judge Meyers said he was taking it under advisement that both parties, Horry County and Atlantic Beach, would come to an agreement about who would take possession of the machines.

No time frame was given.

Horry County spokesperson Lisa Bourcier says the county and the town plan to sit down to discuss it after the holidays.

Judge Mayers did say if the two sides could not reach an agreement, they would have to come back to court.