Election chaos in S.C.: dozens of candidates ordered off primary ballot by state Supreme Court

Incumbents defending their positions against challengers may have a much cushier path to victory in South Carolina. As Joe Biden might say, this is a big effin’ deal for Palmetto State voters.

The South Carolina Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that candidates who failed to submit statements of economic interest at the exact same time they filed for office must be removed from the ballot.

The ruling means that some state senators who were expecting tough primary fights, including Jake Knotts, R-Lexington, and Larry Martin, R-Pickens, suddenly find themselves unopposed in June’s GOP primary.

It also means some would-be candidates — including Kerry Wood, who says he filed for office at 11:52 a.m. and filed his economic interest statement minutes later, at 12:30 p.m. March 30 — are off the ballot, leaving incumbents without an opponent in the November general election.

[W]hat is evident is the voters of South Carolina are the real losers. We regret that this turn of events almost exclusively target non-incumbents and leave incumbents unscathed.

South Carolina Supreme Court judges are elected by the General Assembly, leading some to suspect corruption.

Last night, South Carolina attorney Todd Kincannon tweeted a request for disqualified candidates to get in touch with him.

https://twitter.com/#!/ToddKincannon/status/198210714677166082

https://twitter.com/#!/ToddKincannon/status/198210833053007873

This morning he filed a complaint in U.S. District Court on behalf of state senate candidate Amanda Somers and others.

https://twitter.com/#!/ToddKincannon/status/198400162933116928

This afternoon, voters will find out which candidates have been forced off the primary ballot.

Will the national media bother to cover this story?

Update: The state Republican Party released this statement about disqualified candidates.

https://twitter.com/#!/MattMooreSC/status/198444163426037760

Update 2: The state Democratic Party has released a list of certified candidates

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