Columbia, South Carolina is holding its regular election for city officers on April 6. One city council district, district 2, was not scheduled to have an election this year. However, the incumbent resigned abruptly on March 9. The city then set a special election for that district for April 6, giving candidates only 4 days to file.
On March 29, a federal lawsuit was filed to stop the special election. See this story. Plaintiffs charge that the election cannot be fair because potential candidates had such a narrow window in which to file. However, the basis for the federal lawsuit is that the city has changed its procedures for this special election and did not pre-clear those changes with the U.S. Justice Department. Absentee voting had already started for the regularly city election, and voters who already voted, who live in District 2, were given ballots that didn’t even include the special election.