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Questions about residency requirements? Updated

March 27, 2008

I received the following press release from Rick Beltram today.

PRESS RELEASE

SPARTANBURG- After extensive investigation, a challenge is being posted to the eligibility for Eric Hayler to be a candidate for HD#37. He filed last week with the Spartanburg Democratic Party. This was confirmed and reported by the Spartanburg Herald Journal.

The rule is very clear that a candidate for the State House MUST be a resident of the district at the TIME of FILING.

Mr. Hayler actually resides at 402 Longspur Ct. in Duncan which is in District #34.

Repeated calls by GOP officials to the Hayler residence (864-486-8883) confirmed that this address is the current Hayler residence. Although, the house is for sale by owner, the candidate resides in a location that is not within District #37.

Several pictures were taken over several days to add evidence that this residence is fully occupied. The candidate’s auto is also pictured in the driveway of the home. The Spartanburg County Republican Party asks that the Spartanburg Democratic Party to immediately “de-file” this individual as ineligible to be a candidate.

This is not the first occasion that the Democrats have filed candidates that are ineligible. Liz Patterson contended in 2006 that it is not her responsibility to “police” the candidates that come forward. As a result, the GOP has been forced to perform “due diligence” on the Democratic candidates. Other Democratic filed candidates are being reviewed for eligibility.
Filing ends promptly at noon on Sunday 03/30/08. GOP officials will be at Democratic HQ at that time to assure that election law is properly executed.

For more information, please call Rick Beltram (864-590-7723)

###

After reading I did some research and I can’t find the code of law that requires this. I can find a code that says they must meet the requirements before the general election. SECTION 7-13-40.

The written verification required by this section must contain a statement that each candidate certified meets, or will meet by the time of the general election, or as otherwise required by law, the qualifications for office for which he has filed. Political parties must not accept the filing of any candidate who does not or will not by the time of the general election, or as otherwise required by law, meet the qualifications for the office for which the candidate desires to file, and such candidate’s name shall not be placed on a primary ballot. The filing fees for all candidates filing to run in all primaries, except municipal primaries, must be transmitted by the respective political parties to the State Election Commission and placed by the executive director of the commission in a special account designated for use in conducting primary elections and must be used for that purpose. The filing fee for each office is one percent of the total salary for the term of that office or one hundred dollars, whichever amount is greater.

But on the South Carolina Election commission website it says this for the SC House and the SC Senate. Must be a legal resident of the district at the time of filing. See http://www.scvotes.org/so_you_want_to_be_a_candidate

I have sent an email to the election commission. I am awaiting their response. Until then I am asking my friends in the blogosphere to do some research and help us figure this out fro Rick Beltram. Is he right or wrong? Please post your responses below.

UPDATE:

It is not in the SC Code of law. It is in the SC Constitution Section 7.

It would be helpful for people to cite the law when they make a charge rather than have other people go out and try to find it. 

SECTION 7. Qualifications of members of Senate and House of Representatives.

No person is eligible for a seat in the Senate or House of Representatives who, at the time of his election, is not a duly qualified elector under this Constitution in the district in which he may be chosen. Senators must be at least twenty-five and Representatives at least twenty-one years of age. A candidate for the Senate or House of Representatives must be a legal resident of the district in which he is a candidate at the time he files for the office. No person who has been convicted of a felony under state or federal law or convicted of tampering with a voting machine, fraudulent registration or voting, bribery at elections, procuring or offering to procure votes by bribery, voting more than once at elections, impersonating a voter, or swearing falsely at elections/taking oath in another’s name, or who has pled guilty or nolo contendere to these offenses, is eligible to serve as a member of the Senate or the House of Representatives. However, notwithstanding any other provision of this Constitution, this prohibition does not apply to a person who has been pardoned under state or federal law or to a person who files for public office fifteen years or more after the completion date of service of the sentence, including probation and parole time, nor shall any person, serving in office prior to the ratification of this provision, be required to vacate the office to which he is elected. (1997 Act No. 3, Section 1, eff March 25, 1997; 1999 Act No. 12, Section 1, eff April 28, 1999.)

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. Scott permalink
    March 27, 2008 11:46 AM

    Rick Beltram can’t read law. The law is simple: you must be a resident at the time of the general election…period.

  2. March 27, 2008 12:58 PM

    Scott:

    Please see that there is an exception for:

    Go to scvotes.org (Candidates click)

    SC Senate
    SC House of Representatives

    “Must be a legal resident of the district at the time of filing”

    Rick Beltram

  3. Anonymous permalink
    March 27, 2008 1:24 PM

    I once heard that a party primary is a qualifying event, and not an election. Both are governed by different regulations. It is up to the party to decide if a candidate is qualified for the office they are running for in a primary. The job of the Election Commission is just to carry out the primary election and not get involved in who can run in the primary.

  4. Silence Dogood permalink
    March 27, 2008 1:29 PM

    Rick, I have no reason to doubt you, and I am sure you have much more knowledge about elections and S.C. elecotral law than I do, but could you tell us what the actual authority for that is? (Statute or regulation?)

    Thanks.

  5. Silence Dogood permalink
    March 27, 2008 1:36 PM

    Rick, nevermind, I just re-read the updated addendum from the state constitution. Thanks

  6. March 27, 2008 4:27 PM

    Folks:

    As GOP officials, we have all been advised that on Election issues….we have been asked to inquire with the Election Commission at:

    http://www.scvotes.org

    The web-site is very easy to navigate…..in this way we do not have to be lawyers and quote Statutes numbers etc……

    I urge all of you including SCHOTLINE to use the web-site!

    We in Spartanburg appreciate your attention.

    Thank you.

    Rick Beltram , Chairman
    Spartanburg County GOP

  7. March 27, 2008 4:40 PM

    Rick,

    A website can be wrong. That is why I asked you for the specific law. On scvotes.org they do not cite the law either.

    Last time I checked I can read the law. It is written in English. Not what bureaucrats and politician say is the law.

    Mike Green

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