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The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

Group Pushes for Delay in South Carolina’s Primary Runoff



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As noted in today’s Morning Jolt, Bruce Carroll, Ben Howe, and the guys at Carolina Conservatives United are challenging the existing schedule for the South Carolina primary.

Currently, South Carolina holds its primary election on June 10. If no candidate reaches 50 percent, there is a runoff, currently scheduled for June 24. The group filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice, contending that the existing system violates the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment (MOVE) Act, passed in 2009, which “requires states to transmit validly-requested absentee ballots to service members no later than 45 days before a federal election, when the request has been received by that date, except where the state has been granted an undue hardship waiver approved by the Department of Defense for that election.”

Ben Howe elaborates:

We believe we’ve found an iron clad way to extend the run-off period in the South Carolina primary. Right now it is at a paltry 2 weeks and we believe we’ve discovered something that will extend that to 60 days . . . we believe there is a hope that the time for South Carolina voters to pick, the time needed for candidates to up their game, could be longer than anyone had expected. And that could be a game changer.

A 60-day window would put the runoff on August 12 or so.

This is all aimed at two-term senator Lindsey Graham, of course. Graham faces at least three significant challengers at this point: State senator Lee Bright, Richard Cash, and Nancy Mace. Graham is likely to take the largest share on primary day, but he could easily end up with less than 50 percent and the top challenger would face the difficult task of unifying the anti-Graham factions — a task easier to achieve in two months than in two weeks.


Tags: Lindsey Graham , South Carolina


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