Good for Dan Duryea for following through with his pledge to use petitions to get on the ballot for the new District 7 seat on the Beaufort County Council.
Duryea, of Bluffton, is one of about 250 candidates statewide booted off the June 12 primary ballot for not filing a statement of economic interests at the same time they filed to run for office, and with the same person. The root of that mess was the state legislature, which introduced confusion into the process with a 2010 law. The victims were not so much the candidates, who should know the intricacies of filing law, but the voters, who were denied choices at the polls.
Competition is healthy in all circumstances. But when it comes to elections, contested races are the bedrock of democracy.
That's why we're glad Duryea is using the petition option to get on the Nov. 6 ballot.
It's not easy to win by petition. Candidates must secure signatures from 5 percent of the registered voters within their district. We've seen people mess this up by not making sure the signers are both registered to vote and residents of the district in question. But we also have seen it succeed, most notably when new Beaufort County Treasurer Douglas Henderson was elected in 2010. He unseated a longtime incumbent as a petition candidate.
Petition candidates must submit their petitions to the Beaufort County Board of Elections and Registration by July 16. We urge registered voters to sign petitions when asked. With new district lines in place as a result of the 2010 Census realignment, it is imperative for voters to pay attention and get involved.
Petition-signers -- and candidates -- are desperately needed in the Beaufort County Board of Education election.
All school board candidates must sign up to run by the petition method. They must submit by July 16 petitions signed by 2.5 percent of the registered voters within their district.
Due to redistricting, 10 of the school board's 11 members would have faced election this fall, but half of them say they aren't running. Two incumbents will face each other in a new district, if they both wind up on the ballot. And four of the new districts have no incumbent living in them.
This will bring a lot of new faces to the board that oversees a $177.9 million budget and the education of some 20,000 students.
It is imperative that potential candidates learn the new district lines and know how to get on the ballot. It is equally imperative for registered voters to sign petitions.
Our system will work best if candidates face competition, and if voters have a choice at the polls. More effort than usual will be required to make that happen this year. Get involved.