Supreme court deliberates in GOP primary case

COLUMBIA (WACH) - Both sides presented their final arguments Monday in South Carolina Supreme Court, in a case over whether counties can be forced to pay for part of the GOP first-in-the-South primary.

Beaufort, Chester, Greenville and Spartanburg counties are suing the State Election Commission along with the Republican and Democratic parties.

"This matter could have been resolved if they stepped forward, but they didn't," said Joel Collins. Collins is representing the counties.

"Our county taxpayers believe they should not be saddled with the burden of of this presidential preference primary," adds Collins.

State GOP Chairman Chad Connelly argues this year's budget law contains language that gives the State Election Commission the power to run this primary.

"State agencies only have that authority which they are given by statute," counters Collins. "It's a fundamental rule of government."

Supreme Court Chief Justice Jean Toal said in court Monday, if county election commissions were not required to to run primaries it would be difficult for people to vote.

South Carolina's first-in-the-South primary is January 21st, 2012.

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