Pee Dee election workers approve some petition candidates

Fifteen people filed to run as petition candidates for Pee Dee races for the November general election.

The deadline to submit the petition was July 16 at noon.

In Florence County, four candidates filed. Mary Spring, candidate for County Council District 4; Andy Wilson, candidate for County Council District 5; Laverne "Speedy" Bazen, candidate for County Council District 2; and Warren Snell, candidate for County Council District 9, all submitted hundreds of signatures to run as petition candidates.

They were ousted off the June 12 primary ballot for not filing their Statement of Economic Interest on time or correctly. The petitioners had to collect the signatures of five percent of voters in their districts.

Mary Spring watched as Florence County Voter Registration workers looked over her petition. She says she's been working to get signatures since she was booted off the ballot.

"It was a lot of hard work. A lot of people did not understand why I was having to get the signatures even though the media has been in a frenzy over the filing fiasco of 2012, but having to explain took a lot of time," said Spring.

Election officials now have to go through the petitions to make sure the signatures are from those who are active registered voters and live in the district of the petitioner. The employees also have to check to see if the signatures match those on the voter registration records.

"It's going to take many hours, extra hours, of work to get the petitions worked and completed," said David Alford, Florence County Voter Registration Office Director.

Voter registration offices across the state have until August 15 to verify the petitions.

In Marlboro County, election officials say Verd Odom, candidate for County Council District 6, and Fred Brantley, candidate for Sheriff, have already been verified and approved to appear on the ballot.

They're still checking signatures submitted by Charles English, candidate for Sheriff, and Steve Weaver, candidate for Clerk of Court.

Voter registration employees are making great progress in Dillon County. Jack Scott, candidate for County Council District 2; Michael Grice, candidate for County Council District 3; and James Campbell, candidate for County Council District One, are good to go.

Darlington County election officials are still wading through petitions for Darren Hayes, candidate for Coroner and Robin Brock and Todd Tyner, both candidates for County Council District 7.

They say the candidates have more than the number of names required, it's just going to take some time to approve the candidates to be on the ballot.