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      SC counties: Early primary not legal

      COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- Four counties have asked the South Carolina Supreme Court to intervene in a dispute about covering costs of running the first-in-the-South primary in January.

      The lawsuit filed Monday by the election commissions in Beaufort, Chester, Greenville and Spartanburg counties says the state doesn't have the legal authority to run the primary in 2012 and can't force counties to pay some of the cost for the election.

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      The counties have complained that the primary will leave them holding the tab for thousands in expenses that the state doesn't cover and that they can't afford.

      The lawsuit was filed a week after the state Republican Party said it would cover expenses that the state does not usually reimburse. But GOP leaders said counties weren't satisfied even that would cover all their costs.

      (Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

      What do you think about the costs associated with an early primary? Leave your comments below.