Lawmakers, lawyers scramble to address ballot ruling

A bill being considered Tuesday by the state Senate could reinstate state and local Republican and Democratic candidates who were purged from the ballot. File/staff

State senators are expected to meet at 10 a.m. Tuesday to kick start legislation that would put more than 100 candidates back on this year’s ballot.

But a State Election Commission spokesman said many obstacles remain for those hoping to rewrite the ballots — particularly so close to the June 12 primaries.

Last week, the S.C. Supreme Court ruled that candidates who did not file their Statements of Economic Interest at the same time that they declared for office were not eligible to run.

As a result, more than 100 state and local Republican and Democratic candidates across South Carolina — including more than a dozen in the Lowcountry — were purged from the ballot.

Sen. Robert Ford, D-Charleston, predicted that a bill by Sen. Kevin Bryant, R-Anderson, to undo the effect of the court would pass the Senate. “You cannot tell the public that, because of some technicality that nobody is familiar with, you’re going to take somebody off the ballot,” Ford said. “You can’t do that.”

Meanwhile, Miriam Birdsong, a Democratic candidate for Dorchester County Council’s District 6, was not among the candidates listed Friday by the State Election Commission, but she is properly qualified and her name will appear on the Nov. 6 general election ballot, Dorchester election officials said today.

Read more in tomorrow’s editions of The Post and Courier.