Dozens of candidates who were bounced out of the primary in South Carolina Tuesday can resurrect their candidacies by petitioning to be added to the November ballot.
Retired banker James Mitchell Cole, who sought a slot on the Anderson County Council, plans to be one of those petition candidates.
But he has said that being kicked out of the primary has left him “a little gun shy” and worried that he will miss some of the petition instructions despite his best efforts to get them right.
State election officials are expecting a slew of petition candidates and have already sent specific instructions telling county elections directors how to handle their paperwork.
The most basic requirement is that a petition candidate must gather signatures from 5 percent of the registered voters in their districts to be added to the November ballot.
But there’s more to it than that.
For example, candidates can only submit petitions with original signatures, no copied pages.
And petitions need to be on paper that measures 8.5 inches by 14 inches.
In the past, elections officials have accepted petitions on paper that measures 8.5 inches x 11 inches and then copied the smaller pages onto larger ones. As the rules stood Saturday, state officials planned to continue that practice, but told county elections officials to consult their local elections boards and county attorneys for advice about how to handle the issue.
“It is important to stress to candidates ahead of time the importance of the paper size requirement,” election officials said.
Robert Oldendick, a political-science professor at the University of South Carolina, said he thinks petition candidates will have trouble getting on the ballot. He said those who are successful will still face slim odds of winning in November.
The deadline for turning in petitions is noon July 16.
Instructions provided to the county elections officials are clear and stern:
“This is a hard deadline. Ensure that you have designated an accurate clock to use for this purpose. Cell phones are usually good. Monitor the door to the office as the deadline approaches. If a person walks through the door at 12:01 p.m. on July 16, the petition is late and should not be accepted. There are no exceptions for emergencies, bad traffic, bad weather, etc.”
There is nothing in state law that prohibits a voter from signing multiple petitions for the same office, said Katy Smith, Anderson County’s director of elections.
Many of the booted candidates plan to collect signatures at polling places during Tuesday’s primary.
A training session on collecting signatures will start at 6 p.m. Monday at Mutts BBQ at 1020 Powdersville Road in Easley.
- Booted candidates can petition for November return in S.C. (independentmail.com)
- Problem-plagued primary confuses candidates (independentmail.com)
- Group wants Oconee County residents to head for polls although Republican primary is off (independentmail.com)
- This Land Is Our Land. (radicalglasgowblog.blogspot.com)
- How do I make a good first impression on voters? (ask.metafilter.com)
- It’s Election Time! Nominations open. Ten Board Positions Up For Grabs. (nahj.org)
- Petty drops lawsuit over Hecht’s candidacy petitions (statesman.com)
- Parents, Teachers Begin Citywide Petition For Elected School Board (chicago.cbslocal.com)
- Five GOP candidates in Anderson County now off primary ballot (independentmail.com)
- Keyser’s try for a recall election dissolves (times-news.com)