Ballot boxes at an Upstate polling location. (File/FOX Carolina)
COLUMBIA, SC (AP/FOX Carolina) -
The South Carolina's state primary is scheduled for June 12, but many familiar names may not be on the ballot because of a state Supreme Court ruling.
Candidates who did not properly file statements of economic interests during the March filing period may not have their names placed on primary or general election ballots, according to the state justices' ruling on Wednesday.
The unanimous ruling would potentially remove up to 100 candidates from the primary ballots, but now state officials say that number could be much higher.
On Wednesday, five justices ruled that political parties remove the candidates who failed to file the SEI, which shows candidates' income, property and other financial information. The ruling does not affect incumbents seeking re-election or officeholders seeking another office because their statements are already on file.
The filing deadline was March 30, and state law does not allow candidates to re-file. Several incumbents will now run unchallenged due to the removal of their opponents.
The official list of candidates removed from the ballots because of this ruling has yet to be released as the Democratic and Republican parties have until Friday at noon to provide a list of candidates who properly filed SEIs to the state and county election commissions.
Party officials said they want clarification on the ruling, fearing it might mean most candidates challenging incumbents across the state would be kept off primary ballots.
Both parties and the State Election Commission on Thursday asked the state Supreme Court to rehear the case over the filing of financial paperwork. They said candidates filed those papers according to the commission's interpretation of the law.
Copyright 2012 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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