COLUMBIA, S.C. (January 28, 2022) – The S.C. State Election Commission on Thursday voted unanimously to name Howard M. Knapp as Executive Director of the agency. The selection of Knapp ends a three-month appointment process that began in October 2021. The Executive Director serves as the state’s chief election official and is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the agency.
Prior to becoming Executive Director, Knapp served as the Interim Executive Director and Director of Voter Services. In his role as Director of Voter Services, Knapp was responsible for information technology, cyber security, support of the statewide voting system, the agency’s Area Representatives, and the agency’s election audit initiatives and processes.
Knapp began his state service with the S.C. Legislative Audit Council, where he audited state executive branch entities for fraud, waste, and abuse, as well as helping state agencies find operational efficiencies and improvements. From there, he moved to the S.C. Office of Regulatory Staff, where he regulated investor-owned electric and natural gas utilities operating in the state. He then joined the S.C. Executive Budget Office, which is responsible maintaining the state’s annual budget, as well as developing the Executive Budget for the Governor of South Carolina. Prior to joining the SCSEC, Knapp served as the budget director for the S.C. Department of Social Services.
Knapp holds a J.D. from Ave Maria School of Law in Naples, FL, and earned his B.A. from The Citadel in Charleston, SC. He lives with his wife, Katie, and their five children in Columbia, SC.
Former SEC Executive Directors:
Marci Andino: 2003 – 2021
James F. Hendrix: 1994 – 2002
Lynn McCants: 1992 – 1993
James B. Ellisor: 1968 – 1992