Voters could get recall power over officials

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Some South Carolina legislators want to give voters the power to remove officials from office and create laws through ballot box initiatives.

A Senate panel Wednesday debated but delayed action on three measures to greatly expand the public’s power. They would require changes to the state’s constitution.

John Crangle with Common Cause warned senators that initiative efforts can be hijacked by special interest groups. He says they’ve created havoc in California.

The petitions to force the removal of a statewide officer would require 15 percent of qualified voters signing to set up a removal vote. Changing the constitution or repealing laws or constitutional amendments would also begin with a petition signed by at least 10 percent of the voters.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All rights reserved.)