The South Carolina Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that if candidates did not file a required economic statement by a certain time, they cannot run in the upcoming June 12 primary. Candidates must submit a list of economic interests to the party at the same time that they file to run — by March 30. This year, the State Ethics Commission also required the parties to submit the economic disclosures online.
Two Lexington County voters brought a lawsuit saying some candidates were illegally certified. The high court agreed and now the parties must show a new list of certified candidates by the end of the week, so it is unclear how many are affected until then.
Both parties say this could affect about 100 candidates.
Election Commission Executive Director Marci Andino says they will have names of eligible candidates on their website Friday, after getting a list from state and county parties. She says this change is likely to affect most counties.
Andino says she is very pleased that the court ruled quickly on this, since they have work to do to correct the ballots.
She says that even with the ballot changes, the commission plans to produce absentee ballots by May 14.
The State Election Commission, responsible for putting the candidates on the ballot, was also named as a defendant, but the parties have the responsibility of certifying the candidates.
So the commission cross-filed a suit, requesting that the parties report by noon on May 4, 2012, a list of only those non-exempt candidates who simultaneously filed the required paperwork.
The commission also sought reimbursement in re-setting the absentee ballots and other costs they may encounter, which was not considered because of time, the court explained. The commission will be able to resubmit this request, once they know the costs.