Uncontested Rock Hill Ward 2 election to cost taxpayers $4,500

Posted October 21, 2015 11:24 am | Filed under Featured, Local News


Rock Hill city councilwoman Kathy Pender earned herself another four-year term in Tuesday’s election despite that she was the lone candidate for the seat.

But Rock Hill taxpayers will foot the bill for the election.

Woody Oneal, the Rock Hill resident who paid $325 August 19 to run against Pender for the seat, withdrew from the race late last week.

“We were too far long in the process,” York County elections director Wanda Hemphill told WRHI’s news partner CN2, “to redact [Oneal’s] information” from the ballot.

Pender also paid the $325 filing fee.

Absentee ballots had already been printed, computer ballot templates had been finalized and poll workers had already been trained for the October 20 race, one that yielded just 2.4 percent of the 7,500 registered in Rock Hill’s second ward.

“It is a little disappointing when you have that much work into a process and then you have a withdrawal,” Hemphill added.

Pender received 179 votes in the race and was deemed the winner shortly after the polls closed Tuesday.

Initial estimates provided by York County’s office of Voter Registration and Elections predict the election will cost the City of Rock Hill about $4,500. Hemphill will invoice the city based on actual costs incurred for the election, including 24 poll workers who staffed nine precincts.

A Rock Hill ordinance allows city council to cancel uncontested municipal elections to save money, which was done for the council seats held by Kevin Sutton and Sandra Oborokumo. But with Oneal initially challenging Pender for the Ward 2 seat, the election proceeded as usual.

Rock Hill city council members and the mayor each serve staggered four-year terms. Elections for council seats held by Jim Reno, Ann Williamson and John Black, and mayor Doug Echols, will take place in 2017.