South Carolina conservatives are planning to disrupt the state’s Democratic primaries by voting. 

South Carolina voting laws allow for all registered voters to vote in the Democratic primaries despite not being registered with the party, giving Republican voters the chance to spoil the results. 

Christopher Sullivan, an organizer of the Conservative Defense Fund in South Carolina, said of the plan, “You know I guess you could call it meddling. I would love to see the Democrats – whoever wins the South Carolina Democrat primary – for everybody else to have accused him of having stolen the election because he was actually elected with Republican support and therefore prolonged the chaos and the disruption.”

Conservatives in South Carolina have protested against the open primary policy in the past, and have accused Democratic voters of warping results in GOP primaries in an effort to elect more moderate Republicans. 

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Organizers see this as an opportunity to pay back what they believe Democrats  have been doing for years. Karen Martin, a Tea Party organizer in Spartanburg, S.C., told CNN, “We thought, ‘Aha! What would happen if we made a grassroots, state-wide effort to cross over and vote for one candidate in the Democratic primary?’ Would that cause enough angst among the Democrats, either elected officials or party members, to maybe come to the table and let’s talk about closed primaries?”

When asked if this was a plan to promote a Democratic candidate they see as weak to go up against President Donald Trump, Martin replied, “It had nothing to do with his ideology, or that we would rather have Bernie against Trump than Biden, we just want to move the numbers so that the conversation is open on the primaries. Just for the sake of optics, it would be great to be able to contrast the ideology of an avowed socialist versus a capitalist.”

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