The South Carolina Supreme Court voted Tuesday to require the State Election Commission and all counties to hold the 2012 Primary despite county contentions that the election lacked a mandate. The Court voted 3-2 in favor of the South Carolina Republican Party and the Election Commission, and as a result, counties must provide voting equipment, locations and staffing for the Jan. 21 primary.
The court heard arguments on Nov. 14 after four South Carolina counties — Beaufort, Chester, Greenville and Spartanburg — filed suit to block the primary. The main controversies in the case arose over whether a statute enacted for the 2008 primary carried over to 2012 and whether budget provisos that authorized the state election commission to fund the primary actually required it to do so.
Greenville County Director of Voter Registration and Elections Conway Belangia said he hasn’t had a chance to read the official decision, as he is staffing his office for a runoff election, but had heard about the 3-2 vote.
“We’ll abide by the results of the court,” Belangia said. “There is always the potential for a one-time hearing.” Belangia said Greenville is equipped to run an election as well as anyone, whether it’s a lead role or as a partner with the state GOP.