SC attorney general: state can run 2012 primary

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina’s attorney general says the state Election Commission can run the first-in-the-South 2012 Republican presidential primary.

Thursday’s opinion by the attorney general’s office clears up questions left after the Legislature approved a budget that removed a temporary law setting up rules for running for the primary. The opinion says two other provisos in the budget mentioning the primary give the Election Commission authority to run the primary.

The opinion does nothing to resolve funding issues. Those two budget provisos allow the commission to use up to $680,000 in leftover cash for things that include a primary but don’t require the agency to use the cash for that.

The primary would cost $1.5 million and the commission has no way to raise the extra money.

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