May 15 2012
It appears that the remedy for the recent candidate filing fiasco will go unresolved. For this cycle, there are 2 sets of rules for the statement of economic interests: 1-Incumbents have a deadline of April 15th, if they are late, they pay a fine. 2-Non-imcumbents have a March 30th deadline, if they’re late, they get disqualified. Incumbents get a slap on the wrist, non-incumbents get the death penalty.
Now, the only option the nearly 200 non-incumbents have is to run as a 3rd party, write in, or petition candidate. Normally, these kinds of campaigns are rarely successful. One of the reasons is because of straight ticket voting. In Anderson County, nearly 50% of voters vote a straight ticket, Republican or Democrat.
Since this is a historical event in South Carolina’s election history, I introduced s.1532, which will suspend straight ticket voting for the general election in 2012. Many opposed s.1512. One of the reasons was because they didn’t want to jeopardize moving the June 12th partisan primary to a later date. All changes in election law in SC require pre-clearance by the U.S. Justice Department. S.1532, should it pass, would also require this clearance, but we’d have 6 months.
S.1532 gives the unusual amount of petition, write-in, and 3rd party candidates, an even chance. I chose to apply the bill to only one election. Should we eliminate straight ticket voting forever? I’ll save that debate for a later date.