Editorial: Support candidate petitions

  • Tuesday, June 12, 2012

We do not endorse candidates at the Georgetown Times or our other papers, the Waccamaw Times and Inlet Outlook. We figure our readers can follow the news in our paper and other media outlets, go to political events, ask questions and make up their own minds.
But, we think those folks who are interested in offering themselves as candidates for political office should be able to do so.
Tuesday was primary election day in South Carolina. Of course, there’s been a political maelstrom as we all go through the birth pangs of the new 7th Congressional District.
Then, there’s been quite a ruckus about the changes in the law for filing for political office.
Many people filed, or thought they did, but either they or their political party representatives didn’t follow the procedures laid out in the law.
When two separate lawsuits went to the South Carolina Supreme Court, that body rightly found that hundreds of people did not follow the process.
The position that the law wasn’t as clear as it should have been is correct, but it’s also true that the procedures were outlined well enough that hundreds of other people across South Carolina were able to successfully file to run for local and state offices.
For now, though, the voters and the candidates who planned to run for office lost many of their options because of the way the law was applied — and misapplied.
If those who were removed from the ballots for Tuesday’s primaries still want to seek office in November as petition candidates, we encourage them to do so.
And, to that end we encourage each voter who is asked to sign a petition for a candidate’s name to be placed on the ballot for the Nov. 6 general election to willingly sign.
By adding your name to such a petition, you are not endorsing that person as a candidate. What you do by signing is to say that you think the candidate should be able to have a shot at earning your vote in the election.
Your political party leanings don’t matter for the petition process, either. You can be a Democrat or a Republican and still sign a petition for a person in the other party.
The Georgetown County elections office will verify that all signatures are of registered voters who are eligible to vote in the election for that candidate, so make sure your voting information is accurate and up-to-date.
Then, sign your name to the petition so “John Doe” and “Mary Roe” will have a chance to run for office and earn your vote come November.

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