South Carolina

South Carolina

In the last week, calls for citizens to have the right to initiative and referendum have been heard loud and clear in New Jersey and South Carolina.

In tackling the issue of marijuana legalization, New Jersey Star Ledger columnist Paul Mulshine longs for a way voters can decide, writing “if only we had I&R here in New Jersey.”

He’s not sure Colorado voters got it right in legalizing pot, but notes, “Polls show Coloradans are evenly divided on legalization - as are New Jersey voters. The difference is that there they can gather signatures to reverse it if they so desire. Here we’re stuck with whatever the politicians hand us.”

Term limits deter corruption

Tue, Oct 14 2014 — Source: The Post and Courier

Insiders say more political scandal is in the offing, according to a Thursday story by Statehouse reporter Jeremy Borden. Swapping votes for judges and the misuse of so-called Super PAC money were among the possibilities cited in Mr. Borden’s article.

Our reporter was assured by one lawmaker that if there is wrongdoing, it won’t be on the scale of Lost Trust, the vote-buying scandal in the early ’90s.

But we’d feel more relief if it were a federal prosecutor providing that assurance.

Some South Carolina legislators want to give voters the power to remove officials from office and create laws through ballot box initiatives. A Senate panel Wednesday debated but delayed action on three measures to greatly expand the public’s power. They would require changes to the state’s constitution.

Read the story from the Times Union

(LAKE RIDGE, VA) – Today, Citizens in Charge Foundation, a national voter rights group focused on the ballot initiative and referendum process, presented Jim Gordon, state coordinator of Voters-In-Charge, a group working to improve and expand initiative and referendum rights in South Carolina, with the January 2011 John Lilburne Award for his work to reform the state’s local initiative law and to establish a statewide initiative process.

A Safety Valve for Voters

Mon, Jan 3 2011 by Staff

There’s a great piece supporting initiative and referendum in today’s Post & Courier out of Charleston, South Carolina. It comes on the heels of Jim Gordon’s letter to the editor that was in the paper a few weeks ago:

The Legislature is the dominant force in South Carolina’s government and, no surprise, hasn’t been willing to give the voters access to a statewide initiative process. For the sake of accountability, that ought to change.

As anyone who has followed the Tea Party movement knows, a significant portion of our citizen’s feel there has been a breakdown in our political system. Average citizens are either angry or apathetic. The signs of the broken condition of our democracy are visible everywhere: the percentage of registered voters who participate in elections is declining and seventy per cent of incumbents are re-elected without opposition.

Of the 45 states whose legislatures hold sessions in 2010, 27 of them have adjourned for the year, and 5 more will wrap up before the end of the month. Of the more than 80 bills dealing with the initiative and referendum process in various states, 51 of them would have reduced citizens’ initiative rights. Thanks to the work of activists in our coalitions, only 3 bills reducing citizen’s rights have passed and become law.

South Carolina Republicans will unveil plans for a ballot initiative as they deal with questions about spending. State party chairman Karen Floyd’s news conference on Wednesday comes as Republicans try to generate more interest in their party’s June 8 primary. GOP candidates are vying for the state’s top political jobs with no incumbents running for governor, lieutenant governor, treasurer, attorney general and state education superintendent. Meanwhile, the party has primaries for all four of the U.S. House seats it holds and a primary for U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint’s seat.

Encouraged by a near miss four years ago, supporters of allowing marijuana to be used for medical purposes believe they have a better chance of persuading South Dakota voters this year to legalize the plant for treating pain, nausea and other health problems. A similar measure failed after getting about 48 percent of the vote in the 2006 election, but a coalition of patients, doctors, nurses and others will start a campaign this summer to explain how marijuana can help people with serious illnesses, said Emmett Reistroffer, one of the campaign organizers.

Earlier this year, it appeared that the South Carolina legislature was probably going to make ballot access for independent candidates more difficult. The Senate passed SB 590, to say that primary voters could not sign independent candidate petitions. The bill also made it illegal for newly-registered voters to sign for independent candidates, and said that no one could sign for more than one independent candidate for the same office. But the bill did lower the number of signatures.

A sour economy and some county government disarray mean a local option sales tax initiative in Oconee County will be put on hold. The Oconee County Council on Monday scheduled a special meeting for March 30 for a first reading of an ordinance to defer the effort, which has been continuing for over a year. The aim was for the council to possibly bring the question of imposing the 1-cent sales tax to Oconee County voters on the November general election ballot.

A former Mayor or Myrtle Beach is pushing a petition drive to bring a recent tax increase to a vote. The one percent sales tax increase approved by the city council would go to fund advertising and tourism promotions.


Read the story at

State Balloting Process

Mon, Feb 16 by Anonymous

Article XVI
Section 1. Amendments.
Any amendment or amendments to this Constitution may be proposed in
the Senate or House of Representatives. However, for the general election
in 1990, revision of an entire article or the addition of a new article may be
proposed as a single amendment with only one question being required
to be submitted to the electors. The amendment may delete, revise, and
transpose provisions from other articles of the Constitution provided the
provisions are germane to the subject matter of the article being revised

Ballot Qualifications & Schedule

Mon, Feb 16 by Anonymous

You have no statewide Initiative & Referendum rights.


See the results of a poll on support for statewide initiative & referendum here.

Grade: D

Click here to view South Carolina’s individual report in Of the People, By the People, For the People: A 2010 Report Card on Statewide Voter Initiative Rights.