South Carolina Election Commission Restricted Ability of Convention Parties to Nominate Freely, Last Year

Ballot Access News has just learned that the South Carolina Election Commission adopted a policy in 2008 that does not permit political parties that nominate by convention to nominate anyone who didn’t file a declaration of candidacy with that party in the early spring.

South Carolina law does not have any such requirement, and permits parties that nominate by convention to choose nominees as late as August of an election year.

It is possible that one of South Carolina’s ballot-qualified parties will file a lawsuit against this new policy, during 2010.


Comments

South Carolina Election Commission Restricted Ability of Convention Parties to Nominate Freely, Last Year — No Comments

  1. This is another example of the unelected and unappointed staff disregarding the state legislature’s will by making rule changes the legislature has not authorized.

    None of this sort of ad-hoc rule making would have been permitted under the leadership of former Executive Director Jim Hendrix. Since the appointment of Marci Andino the Election’s Commission has turned into her personal fiefdom, with a disregard to legal process that would make a plutocrat blush at it’s brazenness.

  2. This provision doesn’t apply?

    7-11-15

    “In order to qualify as a candidate to run in the general election, all candidates seeking nomination by political party primary or political party convention must file a statement of intention of candidacy between noon on March sixteenth and noon on March thirtieth as provided in this section.”

  3. 7-11-15 in the past was there so that convention parties had the authority to enforce it or not. But for convention parties that didn’t want it, in the past they were free to ignore it, since it was supposedly there for their own benefit. The form is submitted to the parties, not to the election commission. But now the election commission wants to see them and they must be dated.

  4. #3 Your original post said that South Carolina had “no requirement”.

    You are now saying that South Carolina previously didn’t enforce its requirement. The language in the law is not ambiguous.

    We are speculating as to why the law is written that way. I’m quite sure that it was not written so that parties could ignore it if they so chose.

    The law is more likely there so that party candidates declare their candidacy at the same time, and so that South Carolina can enforce its sore loser provisions, which apply both to primary losers and convention losers.

    The political parties are executing procedures on behalf of the State of South Carolina. The election commission is responsible for oversight, and ensuring that the parties nominate in compliance with the State law.

    Since there is a time period specified in the law, it is reasonable that declarations be dated.

    Texas has a similar system where candidates for party nomination pre-file (regardless whether the party nominates by primary or convention – it applies to parties attempting to qualify as well). The filings are made with the party chairs (either State or county depending on the office sought). Texas does go further and have an explicit procedure for forwarding the filings with the Secretary of State. But in absence of such a procedure in South Carolina, it is reasonable regulation by the election commission to require the filings be executed.

  5. The South Carolina law does not say that the party should forward the declarations of candidacy to the government. Therefore, I stand by my original post that there is no legal requirement that the government have any say in the matter. South Carolina has a very strong tradition that the state government should have nothing to do with party nominations, the paperwork, the setting up of the polling places. South Carolina still has a completely party-run presidential primary. That’s why the Republican presidential primary filing fee in 2008 was $35,000 for each candidate, so the party would have the income to run the primary.

  6. A South Carolina law that is ignored says that a voter must be a member of a party’s “precinct club” in order to vote in that party’s primary. The Greenville County GOP’s suit against the open primary law (Harms v. Hudgens) asks that the state be ordered to enforce the “precinct club” law.

    Was the state election commission’s policy pre-cleared under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act?

  7. #5 – I (and perhaps you) stopped reading in 7-11-15.

    “…Except as provided herein, the county executive committee of any political party with whom statements of intention of candidacy are filed must file, in turn, all statements of intention of candidacy with the county election commission by noon on the tenth day following the deadline for filing statements by candidates. If the tenth day falls on Saturday, Sunday, or a legal holiday, the statements must be filed by noon the following day. The state executive committee of any political party with whom statements of intention of candidacy are filed must file, in turn, all the statements of intention of candidacy with the State Election Commission by noon on the tenth day following the deadline for filing statements by candidates. If the tenth day falls on Saturday, Sunday, or a legal holiday, the statements must be filed by noon the following day. No candidate’s name may appear on a primary election ballot, convention slate of candidates, general election ballot, or special election ballot, except as otherwise provided by law, if (1) the candidate’s statement of intention of candidacy has not been filed with the County Election Commission or State Election Commission, as the case may be, by the deadline and (2) the candidate has not been certified by the appropriate political party as required by Sections 7-13-40 and 7-13-350, as applicable. The candidate’s name must appear if the candidate produces the signed and dated copy of his timely filed statement of intention of candidacy.”

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