Taxpayers would at least partly pay for South Carolina’s first-in-the-South presidential primaries under a bill backed by both major parties.
The bill, which lawmakers advanced Monday to the full House Judiciary Committee, clarifies the State Election Commission is responsible for conducting the contests. It does that by deleting from state law a reference to the 2008 election cycle.
Subcommittee chairman Alan Clemmons, R-Horry, says the bill means future presidential primaries will be funded through the budget like any other election, offset by filing fees that candidates pay.
Until 2008, South Carolina’s political parties ran and paid for their presidential nominating contests. A wide-open race for the White House that year prompted changes. Uncertainty over the 2012 contest led to a lawsuit from four counties that argued lawmakers didn’t update the law.