Chesterfield County Republican candidates are now facing the same ballot issues Democratic candidates battled for most of the summer. Albert Crowley, a Chesterfield County resident, has filed a lawsuit calling for civil action against the Chesterfield County Republican Party, the South Carolina Republican Party, the Chesterfield County Elections Commission, the South Carolina State Elections Commission, and Chesterfield County candidates Richard Yow and Donna Johnson. He wants their names off the ballot.
Yow is a candidate in District 53 for the South Carolina House of Representatives. Johnson is running for a seat on Chesterfield County Council in District 6.
The suit claims the Republican Party failed to comply with provisions of Section 8-13-1356 of the law that requires non-exempt candidates to file a paper copy of their Statement of Economic Interest (SEI) form simultaneously with a Statement of Intent for Candidacy (SIC) form. This is the exact problem Democratic candidates faced in May.
The Republican Party responded to the suit by filing a Motion to Dismiss on Monday, Aug. 13, which claims Crowley was “unreasonably delayed in bringing this action.” Crowley’s lawsuit was filed July 31 and served Aug. 9, according to court records.
The biggest problem with timing is that all candidates had to be certified by Aug. 15 in order for their names to be printed on the ballot for Nov. 6. This date is confirmed by Marci B. Andino, executive director of Uniform and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act, whose affidavit said the ballots must be printed in time to transmit overseas by Sept. 22.
The Motion to Dismiss claims Crowley’s lawsuit “lacks sufficient information to form a belief as to the allegations.”
Section 31 of Crowley’s suit claims, “The defendants are in direct conflict with the court’s decision in Anderson vs South Carolina State Elections Commission and are in absolute denial of the main premise on which the conflict stemmed.”
Many Democratic candidates, who were denied certification earlier this summer, were denied the opportunity to have their names printed on the Democratic Primary ballot. However, time has afforded those candidates the opportunity to run successful petition campaigns allowing their names to be printed for the November election ballot.
— Staff Writer Karen Kissiah can be reached by calling 843-537-5261, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.