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SC Supreme Court removes nearly 180 candidates from ballot

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May 15, 2012

South Carolina

COLUMBIA, South Carolina: On May 2, the South Carolina Supreme Court ruled that state election officials were wrong to accept late financial disclosure forms from candidates. The decision may cost nearly 180 candidates their place on the ballot. The ruling disproportionately affects challengers--no incumbents have been removed from the ballot. A federal lawsuit was filed on May 4, seeking to delay the primary while disagreements over the affected candidates are sorted out, but it was dismissed on May 14.[1][2]

The confusion was the result of a miscommunication over how to file statements of economic interest (SEIs). Candidates were instructed by party officials to use the online filing system provided by the state. Incumbents must file their annual disclosure forms online, but candidates must file in writing concurrent with their candidacy filing.[3]

Many of the removed candidates are now attempting to qualify as independents.[4]

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