By SEANNA ADCOX
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - The South Carolina Senate has approved a bill meant to prevent in future elections the chaos that resulted in nearly 200 candidates being tossed off June primary ballots.
The measure approved unanimously Wednesday would remove the Democratic and Republican parties from the filing process and sync the deadlines for incumbents and challengers to turn in financial paperwork.
It does not apply retroactively, so it will not help candidates taken off ballots this year following the state Supreme Court's ruling on improperly filed paperwork.
The bill requires both challengers and incumbents to file financial forms online and bring proof into their local election commission office by the March 30 filing deadline.
Judiciary Chairman Larry Martin says the bill turns the process over to professionals, at a fixed location with regular hours.