The lead editorial Sept. 17, "Counties shouldn't pay for presidential primary," states in part, "The state has committed $680,000 to the expected $1.3 million cost for a Republican Party primary in February."
In fact, such a commitment to publicly subsidize the Republican Party's upcoming presidential preference primary does not exist. The funds cited reflect the total amount of carryover funds available to the state's counties for the conduct of primaries and special elections across South Carolina for the 2012 election cycle, which would include both Republican and Democratic presidential preference primaries, should both be held.
It is this very real potential for the counties to bear the unknown costs associated with an unfunded mandate to hold presidential preference primaries that served in part for the Beaufort County Board of Elections and Registration's Sept. 6 issuance of a formal letter objecting to the use of any public funds to facilitate the upcoming primaries. As the board's letter states, "We cannot, in good conscience, advocate the use of any Beaufort County fiscal resources to subsidize events for political parties when it is already a challenge to maintain day-to-day quality of life for our residents."
Editor's note: Rowe serves on the Beaufort County Board of Elections and Registration.