Should SC's governor, lieutenant governor run on same ticket?

Along with casting ballots for different offices on election day, South Carolina voters will decide the fate of a proposed state constitutional amendment.

Unlike the nation's president and vice president, South Carolina's top two officials are elected separately, not on the same ticket.

The proposed constitutional amendment would require the state's governor and lieutenant governor to run on a joint ticket, starting with the general election of 2018.

As a result, the lieutenant governor would no longer preside over the Senate, and the Senate would elect its own president.

Those last two parts are the ones that the chairperson of Carolina Patriots, a Grand Strand tea party group, doesn't like.

"I don't think we need to give a free rein to the Senate to pick their own. We need more control and more transparency," said Janet Spencer of North Myrtle Beach.

Spencer is all in favor of having the governor and lieutenant governor run on the same ticket, but she just wants an amendment that doesn't include the other provisions about the lieutenant governor no longer presiding over the Senate, and the Senate electing its own leader.

Spencer says that would give the Senate too much power and leave the lieutenant governor without much to do.

She says, since the amendment wouldn't go into effect until 2018, it would be better to wait, debate the issue some more and try to come up with something better.

"I'd rather see us have a clean bill that we can deal with, not mess with the duties that the lieutenant governor currently has," Spencer said.

She is urging people to vote no on the amendment.

But outside her Carolina Patriots group, the proposed amendment is so little-known, it's hard to find anyone else who's taken a strong stand on it, including the SC League of Women Voters, which has not taken an official position on the amendment.

The League says in 25 states, the governor and lieutenant governor run on the same ticket. Three times, South Carolina has elected a governor and lieutenant governor from different parties. The last time it occurred was in 1998.