Vote Yes for party registration

Vote Yes for party registration
June 08 11:23 2018 Print This Article

There will be a ballot advisory issue on the Republican primary ballots Tuesday asking voters if they think South Carolina voters should be asked to register by political party. I encourage you to vote Yes on the initiative. It is necessary to maintain the integrity of our primary system.

Greenville County Republican Party and the South Carolina Republican Party (SCGOP) entered into a lawsuit in 2011 against the South Carolina Election Commission that called for party registration and restricting primary elections to party registrants. In 2013, SCGOP Chair Chad Connolly withdrew the state party from the lawsuit, and a federal judge dismissed the case because Greenville County did not have legal standing in the statewide election process.

Former Greenville County Republican Party Chair Samuel Harms conducted research from the 2008 primary cycles indicating that a sizable portion of voters who participated in the 2008 Democratic Presidential primary in February turned around and voted in the Republican Primary in June. One of the main opponents of registration by party is the SC Progressive Network. Progressives have a far-left political ideology and would only be inclined to participate in a Republican primary in order to tilt the nomination to the most progressive candidate on the Republican ballot. Exit polling from the 2012 Republican Presidential primary showed that 30% of the participants self-identified as Democrats or Independents. There was no Democratic Presidential primary that year.

A sizable margin for the party registration initiative will put pressure on Republican legislators to pass a registration by party bill and on the SCGOP to vote for closed primaries.