The South Carolina press has carried many stories about this year’s primaries, in which 250 major party candidates for legislature and county office were eliminated from the primary ballots due to a technicality. Some of these candidates are now running as independent candidates, and are working on their petition drives. The deadline is July 16. See this story about one particular candidate’s petitioning activity. The requirement is 5% of the number of registered voters, which is quite difficult.
South Carolina has only had one independent in the legislature in the entire period starting in 1896. He is Jim Cromer, who was elected as an independent in 1990 and re-elected as an independent three more times. Chances are, in the November 2012 election, several individuals will be elected as independent candidates, even though they will then consider themselves members of one of the two major parties.