Court upholds removal of candidates

COLUMBIA (WACH, AP) - The South Carolina Supreme Court has denied reconsidering a Wednesday opinion that will disqualify dozens of candidates from the June primary ballot.

Democrats and Republicans were hoping for clarification of a court ruling that could keep many candidates off of the state's June primary ballots.

The state Supreme Court ruled Wednesday candidates should have filed financial paperwork when they filed to run for state and local office in March.

The two page ruling says in part, "[our opinion] speaks for itself and stands as written. Accrodingly, we deny the request for rehearing."

Under a new system, those documents were supposed to be filed online with the state Ethics Commission by a March 30 deadline , but the parties did not check for them. The forms include income and other financial information.

The court wrote candidates can stay on the ballot if they give party officials a paper copy of their financial information when they file their candidacy.

The Supreme Court justices' five-page opinion reads in part, "we fully appreciate the consequences of our decision, as lives have been disrupted and political aspirations put on hold. However, the conduct of the political parties in their failure to follow the clear and unmistakable directives of the General Assembly has brought us to this point."

State officials have estimated more than 100 candidates will now be left off the June 12 primary ballot.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)