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27128 - Florence County Democratic Party v. Florence County Republican Party
27128 - Florence County Democratic Party v. Florence County Republican Party

In its original jurisdiction, the Supreme Court issued a declaratory judgment that the Florence County Republican Party improperly construed the relevant statutory provisions to determine certain candidates were exempt from the provisions of S.C. Code Ann. § 8-13-1356(B) (Supp. 2011), as interpreted by the Court in Anderson v. S.C. Election Comm'n, Op. No. 27120 (S.C. Sup. Ct. filed May 2, 2012), which require a Statement of Economic Interests (SEI) to be filed at the same time and with the same official that a Statement of Intention of Candidacy (SIC) is filed. The Court directed the Florence County Republican Party to file with the Court, the Florence County Election Commission, and the South Carolina State Election Commission, by 10:00 a.m. on June 6, 2012, a list of only those non-exempt candidates who simultaneously filed an SEI and an SIC with the party and a sworn statement that all of those candidates were properly certified as defined by the Court in Anderson and in this case. The Court also ordered the Florence County Election Commission, if able, to correct the ballots to remove all improperly certified candidates prior to the party primaries scheduled for June 12, 2012. If this task is not possible, the Court required signs to be prepared and placed in all affected polling places setting forth the names of all improperly certified candidates who appear on the ballots and advising voters that a vote cast for any of the candidates will not be counted. All costs and expenses associated with amendments to the ballots or, if required, preparation and posting of signs were ordered to be borne by the Florence County Republican Party. The Florence County Election Commission was directed not to count any votes cast for an improperly certified candidate. In the event an improperly certified candidate is inadvertently left on the ballot after the required revisions, the political parties were ordered to comply with S.C. Code Ann. § 8-13-1356(E) and not to certify the candidate for the general election.