Ballot fight heads back to state Supreme Court
The state Supreme Court will once again take up the issue of which candidates should appear on the primary ballot.
Florence County Democrats have filed a lawsuit challenging several of their Republican counterparts who appear on the ballot. Arguments will be presented to the Supreme Court at 2 p.m. Monday in Columbia.
The lawsuit alleges Florence Republicans ignored a May 1 ruling from the state Supreme Court and recertified candidates who did not properly file election documents.
The court’s decision could affect primary ballots across the state, including in Georgetown County, where two Republicans, Rod Stalvey and Tammie Avant, were disqualified because they didn’t properly file State Ethics Commission disclosure forms at the time they filed to run for office.
By law candidates are required to file their Statement of Candidacy and Statement of Economic Interest forms at the same time with the same person.
The state Supreme Court upheld the requirement in early May. That ruling disqualified nearly 200 candidates in South Carolina.
“I’m waiting to see what’s going to happen,” Stalvey said Thursday.
He is planning to run as a petition candidate in November, but is not giving up his primary ballot fight.
He has sent a registered letter to state Attorney General Alan Wilson asking him to look into Georgetown’s situation; filed a protest with the state Republican Party; and filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice.
Stalvey has also requested a copy of the certified list of candidates that Jim Jerow, chairman of the county Republican Party, submitted to Donna Mahn, the county’s director of voter registration and elections.
Stalvey wants to know what the exact wording of the letter is to see if Jerow certified that the candidates followed the Supreme Court ruling that upheld the simultaneous filing requirement.
Last month Jerow confirmed that he didn’t have a computer with him when eight candidates filed their Statement of Candidacy forms. He told them all to go home and file their Statement of Economic Interest forms. Six of the eight candidates remain on the Georgetown County ballot.
“I think we have some people in the Georgetown GOP who have been less than truthful,” Stalvey said.
By Chris Sokoloski
John Sweeney from SCNOW contributed to this story.
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