By Paul Gable
The most interesting contest in this fall’s general election in South Carolina will be the special election for S.C. House District 114, the former seat of deposed Speaker Bobby Harrell.
The S.C. Election Commission has determined a special election is called for after Harrell’s resignation from office and has set the date for a Republican s[ecoa primary as November 25, 2014. The Democratic Party candidate, Mary Tinkler, and Green Party candidate, Sue Edwards, are already set through the normal election primary process.
The election commission has set the special general election date for December 9th.
No thought has apparently been given for a contingency of no Republican candidate emerging from the special primary with 50% plus one of the vote. State law requires a runoff election between the two top vote getters in that situation, unless the state election commission has decided to ignore that part of the law.
Additionally, the announced time frame eliminates the possibility of absentee balloting in the race for any registered voter wishing to cast a ballot but, who will be out of the area on those dates. Those voters will be disenfranchised.
But, who cares, this is South Carolina where the laws don’t apply and, if they do, we ignore them or change them.
As many as four Republican candidates have already lined up including current Charleston County Republican Party chairman John Steinberger, former CCRP chairman Lin Bennett, Wally Burbage and Clara Heinsohn. That makes the possibility of a runoff almost guaranteed.
And what of the absentee ballots already cast for the now eliminated November 4th general election in which Harrell’s name appears on the ballot along with Tinkler and Edwards?
This is a mess that has been decided on the fly with no apparent thought.
However, it is what we have come to expect from a Nikki Haley administration that bungles every problem it is presented with. (It’s a lot less important than the DSS mess she ignored for over three years.)
Oh well, only four more years until we can finally get over the Nikki Haley hangover.