Even though the Richland Election Board found that appellant was a qualified voter and allowed her to remain on the ballot for a Richland County position on the District 5 Richland-Lexington School Board of Trustees, since there was some evidence that appellant’s residence was actually in Lexington County, we uphold the circuit court’s removal of appellant from the ballot.
The instant dispute does not center upon appellant’s application for voter registration; rather, the dispute centers upon her qualification to be a candidate for election to the school board. Therefore, S.C. Code Ann. § 7-5-230 does not apply.
Likewise, our common law has not established the executive branch as the final authority on appellant’s eligibility to run for and hold a seat on the school board.
There is no specific constitutional or statutory provision giving the Richland Election Board the exclusive authority – or any authority for that matter – to determine the qualifications of a candidate for election to the school board. In determining whether the Legislature has given another entity exclusive jurisdiction over a case, a court must look to the relevant statute. Careful examination of § 7-5-230 reveals the Richland Election Board’s authority is limited to determining the qualifications of a person who applies to register to vote, not the qualifications of a person who applies to be a candidate for election to the school board.
In the absence of exclusive authority vested in another branch of government, respondents are entitled to pursue relief pursuant to the Uniform Declaratory Judgments Act. Thus, the circuit court has subject matter jurisdiction over this declaratory judgment action.
This court has adopted the “any evidence” standard of review of findings of fact in appeals from decisions of the State Board of Canvassers and in municipal election disputes. While the instant case does not involve either a municipal election or a decision of the State Board of Canvassers, we conclude we must apply the “any evidence” standard of review.
Lexington County tax maps show appellant’s residence to be in Lexington County, while Richland County tax maps show her residence to be in Richland County. Official state precinct maps show her residence to be in Lexington County, and expert testimony established that her residence is approximately 1,000 feet inside Lexington County.
The circuit court’s determination that appellant resides in Lexington County is supported by probative evidence in the record.
Gantt v. Selph (Lawyers Weekly No. 010-058-18, 8 pp.) (George James Jr., J.) (Donald Beatty, C.J., not participating) Appealed from Circuit Court in Richland County (Jean Hoefer Toal, J.) Brian Gambrell for Appellant; Michael Montgomery for Respondents. S.C. S. Ct.