Several candidates running for political office to represent Aiken County said Thursday that a ruling by the S.C. Supreme Court on candidates filing financial paperwork at the same time they file their declaration to run has major ramifications for the upcoming elections.The court ruled on Wednesday that candidates must file Statements of Economic Interests during the March filing period. Those candidates who did not file SEIs within the specified time period may not have their names placed on the primary or general election ballots. The ruling does not to apply to incumbents because they should have an SEI on file from previous elections."It's just so huge," said Andrew Siders, who is running unopposed for County Council District 7. "This is the biggest news in the state."Siders didn't know at the time he filed to run that he was required to file a SEI. He has done so but missed the March 16-30 filing period.For some candidates, it was not definitively clear at press time if they may be affected by the ruling. A list was not available from the S.C. Elections Commission, though one is expected to be soon. The Aiken Standard attempted to contact candidates who could potentially see their names withdrawn from the ballot, but not everyone returned phone calls seeking comment.The S.C. Supreme Court sided with two Lexington County voters who sued the state Democratic and Republican parties and the S.C. Election Commission, questioning the eligibility of a few candidates. But the justices suggested several times during Tuesday's oral arguments that a ruling against those candidates would apply to anyone who didn't submit the necessary documents, according to the Associated Press."We fully appreciate the consequences of our decision, as lives have been disrupted and political aspirations put on hold," the justices wrote. "However, the conduct of the political parties in their failure to follow the clear and unmistakable directives of the General Assembly has brought us to this point. Sidestepping the issue now would only delay the inevitable."Both political parties and the state Election Commission asked the court to rehear the case Thursday, reporting that candidates filed papers according to the commission's interpretation of the law and need more clarity. But the court wouldn't hold another hearing.State legislators didn't anticipate candidates filing without providing the economic information, said S.C. Rep. Roland Smith, R-Warrenville, chairman of the Aiken County Legislative Delegation."However, in all fairness, they were not aware of that," Smith said. "Our parties apparently dropped the ball without notifying them, and it has created havoc all over the state."The provision on the economic information timeline is part of a bill that was approved by the U.S. Justice Department, Smith said. The procedure is especially confusing in that the nonincumbent candidates have to file online, then print out a copy and bring it at the time of filing. Incumbents or those in elective office seeking another position didn't have to file a hard copy.No one anticipated the potential negative impact of the ethics rule or even gave it any thought, he said. Smith admitted he was stunned that the S.C. Supreme Court took this action."If it was just one or two people, that's one thing," Smith said. "But this could affect 100 people or more. We know of at least two legislative districts where nobody has been cleared to serve. It's a mess, and we don't know the full ramifications yet."Don Wells, a candidate for S.C. House 81, said the decision adversely affects the candidates and the voters."Unfortunately, this is just a mess - not only for the candidates who worked hard on their campaign and spent money but also unfortunate for the voters for the state of South Carolina," he said. "These are the types of regulations that are ambiguous and should not be on the books."It is unclear how many candidates are affected, but state election officials report there are problems with state Senate and House races in more than 30 counties and local races in at least 26 counties. The problem affects few if any incumbents because they already filed economic interest statements when they ran or were in office, according to the Associated Press."I don't know who's safe and who's not," said Jane Vaughters, candidate for House District 81. "It's not like 100 intentionally did not do the right thing. It's a brave thing to decide to run for office normally."Treasurer candidate Robin Saylor said she filed her SEI on April 3, missing the deadline. She believes it is a failure on the part of the S.C. Election Commission, which did not make it clear to first-time candidates what and how to file economic interest statements."I have no problem with the law if the law had been broadcast," she said.The S.C. Election Commission and the S.C. Ethics Commission are pointing fingers at the state political parties for the problem, saying they did not accurately inform candidates about the paperwork, according to reports. The political parties are pointing fingers at the state commissions, saying candidates filed paperwork based on the Elections Commission's interpretation of state law.Aiken County Probate Court Judge candidate Jane Page Thompson, who was at the State House on Thursday, said the situation was the center of discussion.She feels the blame lies with the state Elections Commission because the Republican and Democratic parties are essentially "scriveners" and must abide by directions from the commission."It is unfair to dump this back in the laps of the parties," she said.The court has given state parties until Friday to submit corrected candidate lists to state election officials. The candidates whose names will be removed from the ballots may still file as a petition candidate."I was not told about the forms, and I did specifically ask about campaign funds when I filed. You really depend on your party to make you aware of stuff like that," said Sonya Spray, candidate for Aiken County treasurer. "But I'm still running, and I'm running hard."Haley Hughes is the Aiken County government reporter and has been with the Aiken Standard since February 2007. Hughes, a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University, hails from Knoxville, Tenn.SheriffMichael Hunt (I)Jim Vause - potentially not on the ballotSolicitorJ. Strom Thurmond Jr. (I)Probate JudgeSue Roe (I)Jane Page Thompson - filed SEI on timeClerk of CourtLiz Godard (I)CoronerTim Carlton (I)County AuditorJason Goings - potentially not on the ballotCharles Barton - filed SEIs in previous yearsRegistrar Mesne ConveyanceJudith Warner (I)County TreasurerDebra Folk - potentially not on the ballotAngela Gunter - potentially not on the ballotSonya Spray - potentially not on the ballotRobin Saylor - potentially not on the ballotCounty Council ChairmanRonnie Young (I)County Council District 3LaWana McKenzie (I)County Council District 4Chuck Smith (I)County Council District 7Andrew Siders - potentially not on the ballotCounty Council District 8Willar Hightower (I)Senate District 24Tom Young - filed on timeSenate District 25Shane Massey (I)John Pettigrew - potentially not on the ballotSenate District 26Nikki Setzler (I)Duane Naquin - potentially not on the ballotPerry Finch - potentially not on the ballotDeeDee Vaughters - potentially not on the ballotHouse District 81Don Wells - filed SEIs in previous yearsJane Vaughters - filed on timeHouse District 82Bill Clyburn (I)House District 83Bill Hixon (I)House District 84Roland Smith (I)Jonathan Hill - potentially not on the ballotHouse District 86Bill Taylor (I)House District 96Kit Spires (I)