A three-judge panel will meet next week to consider delaying South Carolina’s June 12 primaries in the wake of a state Supreme Court decision that removed nearly 200 candidates from ballots. U.S. District Judge Cameron Currie heard arguments Thursday from an attorney for Amanda Somers, who says her candidacy was thrown into question after justices ruled financial- and candidate-intent paperwork must be filed at the same time. Since Somers was ultimately allowed on the ballot, Currie questioned her ability to sue. The judge allowed a state Senate candidate from Edgefield who was tossed off, Republican John Pettigrew, to join the suit.
While disregarding several arguments, Currie said allegations the state violated the Voting Rights Act in sending separate ballots overseas for federal and local races may have merit. Currie called Somers’ attorney Todd Kincannon’s claims overly broad. “I believe he thinks the federal court can fix this problem and he’s sorely mistaken,” she said. Among his arguments, Kincannon contends election officials broke federal law that requires them to send ballots overseas by 45 days before an election, to ensure military service members’ votes are counted.