State Election Commission, GOP Will Cover All Primary Costs
State election commission responds to county concerns about election costs
The Republican Party of South Carolina and the state Election Commission announced Tuesday that they will cover the full costs of conducting January's presidential primary.
"In light of the recent request from [the South Carolina Associate of Registration and Election officials] and some county elections offices for reimbursement of additional expenses, the Republican Party has agreed to pay all legitimate expenses directly related to the conduct of the Republican PPP," said Chris Whitmire, the director of public information for the state Election Commission, in an email.
"These expenses would be in addition to the expenses for which the SEC reimburses following other statewide elections."
In recent weeks, some counties expressed concerns about funding the Republican presidential primary out of their own budgets. Despite the announcement from the SCGOP, Greenville County said it would still consider legal action.
The Election Commission said it would reimburse counties for the primary just as it did for all other statewide elections, but Tuesday's announcement went a step further and said the Republican Party would cover costs that counties would normally have to bear on their own.
Counties will be required to submit their expenses for review and some limitations may be enforced.
"For example, some overtime pay may be required for county employees to conduct the PPP," Whitmire said. "A reasonable amount of overtime would be an allowable expense. However, since state law sets poll manager pay at $60 per day, any additional poll manager pay normally paid by counties would not be a reimbursable expense."
The Democratic Party has indicated that it is unlikely to conduct its own presidential preference primary, Whitmire said, though a final decision has not been made.
The South Carolina GOP announced Monday that it would hold the 2012 presidential preference primary on Jan. 21, assuring it would maintain its first-in-the-South status.