South Carolina is one of several states that have legislated voter id bills, including Pennsylvania and Ohio, but due to SC's history of racial discrimination, Federal Justice Department approval is required. The Department rejected our state's law saying that it violates Section 5 of the federal voting rights act protecting minority voters, making ours the first voting law to be denied in 20 years
Attorneys arguing the state's side of this case claim the bill protects against fraud in the election process, but even they had to admit when challenged that none of the examples they cited involved incidents of voter impersonation. Still, they claim that the bill provides a tool currently lacking in state law to detect and prevent such fraud, and vehemently deny economic or racial discrimination .
In this important election year, any and all eligible voters must be able and encouraged to cast their ballot. This law is far too limiting…the Senate version actually had provisions that made it easier to vote. Putting one more obstacle in people's path without any proven justification of voter fraud is just un-American. Folks without a photo ID but otherwise eligible to vote will be held hostage until the testimony is heard by a 3 judge panel and a decision is rendered in the coming weeks…perilously close to election day.