Several months ago, E.J. Dionne about gave me a heart attack by telling a Columbia crowd that I was going to be running for Congress this year. Basically, he was having a little fun with a casual remark I’d made to him earlier that day, about an idea I’d toyed with.
Guess he got that one wrong. In fact, it’s now too late for me to run for anything (were I so inclined) — with the election still about four months away.
Did you read this this morning?
Dozens of petition candidates statewide have less than a week to collect the signatures that they need to appear on the Nov. 6 ballot.
South Carolina usually has two or three petitions candidates a year for state House and Senate seats. The state Election Commission has heard from 30 would-be petition candidates this year — and that does not include a number of hopefuls for county seats.
Ballot drives mushroomed this summer after more than 250 candidates statewide were punted from the June primary ballot over a paperwork glitch.
“This is South Carolina politics at its finest,” Roxanne Wilson said with a hint of sarcasm to a pair of voters while collecting signatures Sunday for her twin sister at the Grecian Gardens restaurant in West Columbia.
Petition candidates have until noon next Monday to collect signatures from 5 percent of registered voters in the counties or districts they are running to represent. Thus some candidates have to attract more signatures from registered voters than others.
Election officials then have until Aug. 15 to settle on whether candidates relying on petitions have collected enough valid signatures to qualify for the ballot, although officials in Lexington and Richland counties hope to do it sooner…
Never mind me and my political ambivalence, what about all those people out there who are really, truly serious about running? This is not fair.
People don’t have to take action to get on the primary ballots until about two months out. Then, if they win the primary, they have from June until November to get their general election campaign up to ramming speed.
But if a person is unsatisfied with the results of said June primaries, and believes the voters should be offered an alternative, he or she has less than three weeks (after the primary runoffs) to get those thousands of signatures together?
That’s not even to mention those 250 or so people who had every reason, at one time, to believe they had qualified for the primary ballot, and are not having to scramble.
Sounds like another grotesquely obvious case of incumbent and political party protection to me. How about you?