South Carolina Referendum 2B, Convicted Felons May Not Serve in Elective Office (1996)

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South Carolina Referendum 2B was on the November 5, 1996 ballot in South Carolina as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment, where it was overwhelmingly approved.

Referendum 2A amended Section 1 of Article VI of the South Carolina Constitution so that no person is eligible to elected to "any office of this State or the political subdivisions of this State" who "has been convicted of a felony under state or federal law or a violation of certain election laws, or who has pled guilty or nolo contendere to these offenses." The eligibility limitation does not apply to those who have been pardoned, or to those who file to run for office at least fifteen years after they finish serving their sentences, including probation and parole time.

Referendum 2B did not apply retroactively, which meant that any convicted felons serving in elective office at the time that Referendum 2B was approved were allowed to remain in office.

At the same election, South Carolina voters also approved Referendum 2A, Convicted Felons May Not Serve in the State Legislature.

Election results

Referendum 2B
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 811,493 86.26%
No129,28713.74%

Ballot text

Question


"Shall Article VI, Section I of the Constitution of this State relating to the eligibility for office of any person popularly elected to any office of this State or the political subdivisions of this State be amended, so as to provide that no person is eligible for these offices who has been convicted of a felony under state or federal law or a violation of certain election laws, or who has pled guilty or nolo contendere to these offenses and to provide that this limitation on eligibility does not apply to a person pardoned for the offense or who files for office fifteen (15) years or more from the date the sentence, including probation and parole time, has been served and that no person, serving in office prior to the ratification of this provision, be required to vacate the office to which he is elected?"

Official summary


"Amends the Constitution of this State to provide that no person may be elected to any popularly elected office in this State who has been convicted of a felony under state or federal law, or of a violation of certain election laws, or who has pled guilty or no contest to these offenses. This prohibition would no apply to a person who has been pardoned or who files for office fifteen (15) years or more from the date the sentence has been served, which would include the time the person was on probation or parole. No person serving in office before this provision is ratified is required to vacate the office to which that person has been elected."

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