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Hilton Head Citizen Reporter: Ballot Denial Unfair

By now everyone is aware that dozens of candidates, both Democrat and Republican, were denied from being listed on ballots in today’s statewide primaries because they did not file a copy of their economic interest papers at the same time as their other application papers with their respective political parties.

Since the S.C. Supreme Court has ruled against the would-be candidates, there is really no other court for them to appeal to.

It is interesting to note that most of the applicants who were turned aside did file their economic interest papers on time online, but were denied because they were required to attach a hard copy of them with their applications.

If this sounds petty to you, please join the crowd.

Next, the S.C. General Assembly had the opportunity to quickly fix this seemingly innocent clerical problem by changing the law to allow those economic interest papers that were filed online to be considered on time.

However, the Legislature did not do so.

One could ask the question as to why. Might this be called an “Incumbent Protection Initiative?” It certainly appears so. Especially in the Senate.

No doubt many of those denied tried to run as petition candidates, requiring them to collect hundreds, if not thousands, of signatures – and without the benefit of representing their respective political parties.

This is not a Democrat or Republican issue. It is a simple matter of a fair legal interpretation.

Yet another black mark for the S.C. General Assembly. When will they ever learn?

Tom Hatfield is a Citizen Reporter for The Nerve who lives on Hilton Head Island.

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