Political candidates across South Carolina are having to step up their campaigns. Many are going door-to-door collecting signatures, hoping those names will get them back on the ballot.
"I've got volunteers out doing that as we speak," said John Rinehart senior, who's running for York County Council.
Rinehart is one of nearly 200 candidates statewide knocked off the ballot because of a mistake filing paperwork. Candidates had until March 30 to file an economic interest form. Many of them were told that filing it online was sufficient.
The state Supreme Court ruled it was not.
The fiasco has wiped out primary elections all over the state, leaving voters in many communities with no choice of candidates, and seemingly giving incumbents a free ride to victory.
Another County Council candidate, Gary Williams, was also removed from the ballot. He believes the state Supreme Court trashed the whole primary election.
"If it was six, eight or 12 people, OK, we made a mistake, but not 200 people," Williams said.
On Wednesday, the state Senate failed to bring the issue to a vote and reinstate the disqualified candidates.
Williams said the rules were confusing, and like most candidates, he did everything party officials asked him to do.
Now, if disqualified candidates choose to stay in the race, they will have to do it without their party in many cases.
Rinehart, a Republican, plans to be on the November ballot as an independent. It's the only option he has if he's not allowed back on the primary ballot.
"I'm going to run for County Council District Two, and the people will have a choice of candidates in November," Rinehart said.
Williams said voters are angry and shaking their heads at lawmakers in Columbia for not acting on the matter.
He said it's been frustrating to everyone working to help him get elected.
"I'm more concerned about what it's doing to my family and friends, because they've worked very hard for four months now," he said.
Rinehart said he takes responsibility for his own mistake when it comes to his filing error. He's now focusing on looking forward.
"You've just got to leave it up to the voters. I trust the people of this county," he said.
South Carolina's primary is June 12. Many officials oppose moving that date back in order to resolve the ballot mess.
There are also two lawsuits dealing with the issue. It's not clear yet how they might affect the disqualified candidates or the primary.