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Challengers Added Back to Ballot Should be Disqualified at Once

A Column by the Editor
web posted May 7, 2012

COLUMN – With the South Carolina Supreme Court ruling handed down last Wednesday, both political parties have certified candidates that did not meet the required standards to be placed on the ballot, and knowingly so. This, in my opinion, is a slap in the face of the law and in the end will hurt not only the candidates, but the voters as well. It is time for county election commissions to do the job the political parties have abdicated doing for their candidates.     

Of all the new candidates filing for office in Edgefield County this year, only one met the statutory obligations to be a candidate, Democrat County Council Dist 4 candidate Tracy Freeman. County political party officials agree on that simple fact. However, by the noon deadline Friday to certify candidates rolled around, those disqualified were sent in as legal candidates, when they are not.

All of them must be removed from the ballot in order to protect the sanctity of the election process. 

To the political party leaders at the local a state level; you should all be ashamed for trying to blow life into doomed campaigns that will not be certified after the elections. It is far better to tell the candidates the truth and help them through the viable routes to have their names replaced on the ballot legally.

Edgefield County Election Commission Chairman David Satcher has stated that he and the commission will be reviewing the list of candidates starting today. Stating that the commission will follow "the law", there is a shinning light in the dark abysmal abyss of Republican and Democrat party shenanigans.

This is not an attack on any of the candidates who, in good faith, followed the bad advice of those charged with making sure all legal documentation was correctly filled out and filed at the proper time - the day they signed up for the run for political office.

However, ignorance is no excuse from the punishment for not following the unambiguous letter of the law.

The ruling is clear and all the legal arguments now being used by political party lawyers to try to save as many candidates as they can in order to keep them on the ballot have already been discussed and ruled on by the Supreme Court.

This is not a matter up for debate.

I have full faith in the Edgefield County Election Commission and hope that they, sooner than later, take the steps to remove those added back to the ballot in spite of not fulfilling their legal obligations to be candidates. 

The democratic process of our elections in our great Republic hangs in the balance.

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