Governor Nikki Haley’s office described the upcoming primary elections as a “sham” on Saturday.
The statement came in response to a call from Pickens County Republican Chairman Phillip Bowers for the governor to call an emergency legislative session to postpone the primaries and address nearly 200 candidates who were removed from the ballot.
The candidates were removed after a state Supreme Court decision regarding improper filing of paperwork.
“This is an absolute sham, and incumbent protectionism at its worst,” said Haley spokesman Rob Godfrey. “The governor supports the General Assembly coming back to fix the problem — something only they have the authority to do — and prove to the people of South Carolina that they understand who they actually work for.”
But according to Sen. Larry Martin, R-Pickens, the head of the Senate Judiciary Committee, even if lawmakers met as soon as Monday, it would be too late to solve the problem.
He said if the general assembly passed a bill to put the candidates back on the ballot, the law would have to be approved by the federal Justice Department before going into effect, because of the Voting Rights Act.
“There is no doubt in my mind whatsoever that the federal government will not approve an election law change the day before the primary,” Martin said.
Bowers said the need for Justice Department approval was “just a smokescreen,” and proposed a solution for lawmakers.
“Tell the counties, ‘We’re not going to pay for primaries Tuesday. If you want to have them, you’re on your own.’ My bet is in that event, the counties won’t have primaries.” he said.
Martin, whose primary challenger was disqualified after the court decision, said even if lawmakers meet before the primaries, the political willpower to find a solution won’t be there.
Martin said his proposal to get the candidates back on the ballot after the initial court decision fell short by about five votes.
- Pickens County GOP head wants lawmakers recalled to fix primary problems (independentmail.com)
- Coming Soon: Scgop Ballot Baffle, Show Down in Sc Dist 4, and Reactions to the Endorsement That Shocked a Movement (jeenyuscorner.com)
- Lawsuit seeks to scratch Thurmond from SC primary (jeenyuscorner.com)
- Booted candidates can petition for November return in S.C. (jeenyuscorner.com)
- Governor Haley to Endorse Senator Lee Bright this Monday (jeenyuscorner.com)
- Voters React to Disqualification of Dozens of SC Candidates (wspa.com)
- The South Carolina Con (garnetspy.com)
- Ballot Baffle- Primary in Pieces (jeenyuscorner.com)