Hearings set for Monday on contested elections in Salley 1

Nathan R. "Bob" Salley is contesting the results of the mayoral election Nov. 5 in Salley. LaDonna Hall defeated Salley, who was the incumbent.

Allegations of people being denied their right to vote and improper behavior by poll workers are among the concerns raised by beaten candidates who are contesting the results of the Nov. 5 general election in the Town of Salley.

Hearings before Aiken County’s Registration and Elections board are scheduled for Monday, beginning at 10 a.m., in County Council Chambers at the Aiken County Government Center.

The hearing on concerns raised by incumbent Nathan R. “Bob” Salley, who lost the Salley mayoral race, will be held first.

The hearing on claims made by Leah Shackleford, a defeated candidate for seat 4 on Salley’s town council, will follow.

According to a copy of a document provided to the Aiken Standard by the county’s Registration and Elections office, Salley stated that he was contesting the election results for three reasons.

He claimed that “four people were denied the right to vote, the father of one of the candidates was sitting right next to the poll manager” and “two candidates were in the immediate vicinity of the polling place and had no identification on their person.”

LaDonna Hall defeated Salley, receiving 44 write-in votes.

Salley, who was the only candidate to file to run for mayor, received 38 votes.

A 92-year-old World War II and Korean War veteran, Salley has been mayor for more than 20 years.

The Elections and Registration office also provided the Aiken Standard with a copy of the document in which Shackleford expressed her concerns.

The complaints included voters being turned away and not allowed to vote “due to their driver’s license not scanning.” Shackleford also wrote that while casting her ballot, a “poll worker stood beside me, then behind me to observe who I voted for.”

Then, Shackleford stated, another poll worker took her ballot from her and inserted it into the ballot scanner and vote tabulator machine instead of letting Shackleford do it herself.

Shackleford wrote that it “appeared” that the ballot was inserted “incorrectly” into the machine.

In addition, Shackleford stated that the “voting box” she used “was open for everyone to view without any shields.”

Among Shackleford’s other allegations was that a candidate’s father “sat at the table with the poll workers as they checked voter registrations and handed out ballots.”

The seat 4 winner was Cassandra Hicks Brown, with 49 votes.

Shackleford received 45 votes.

There were five votes for Hall, who filed to run for seat 4, but said she “decided kind of at the last minute” to launch a “door-to-door” campaign as a write-in candidate for mayor.

There was one write-in vote in the seat 4 race.

The Aiken County Government Center is at 1930 University Parkway.

​Dede Biles is the Aiken County government, business and horse industry reporter for the Aiken Standard. Follow her on Twitter @DBethBiles.