South Carolina governor offers rides to people who need photo IDs to vote

COLUMBIA — Gov. Nikki Haley’s invitation Wednesday to voters who lack the photo ID necessary to vote under South Carolina’s new law echoed a rental car slogan.

 

“We’re picking you up,” she said.


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The Department of Motor Vehicles has set aside Wednesday, Sept. 28, for anyone who needs a ride. Voters who lack transportation can call a toll-free number to arrange a pickup from a DMV employee, Haley said.

Residents are asked to call 1-855-STATE-ID by 5 p.m. Sept. 22.

The Republican governor said the offering should remove Democrats’ complaint that some registered voters can’t get to a DMV office to get the photo ID the law provides for free.

Democratic Party Chairman Dick Harpootlian called it a lame attempt to quiet critics.

“This is ridiculous. One day to get this done for 178,000 people is dishonest and cruel. This is a useless gesture,” he said. “This is not even a good PR stunt.”

The law signed by Haley in May requires voters to show either a driver’s license, passport, military ID, a photo ID from the DMV or yet-to-exist voter registration cards that include a photo. The state Election Commission expects to be able to issue those in all 46 counties in mid-October.

In July, Haley told a reporter in a TV interview to find people who think the requirement is invading their rights, and she’d drive them to the DMV herself. State Democrats said her office did not help a 76-year-old Army veteran who called for a ride.

The invitation doesn’t address a major hurdle with getting the free photo ID at the DMV – that many voters don’t have the needed documentation, said Victoria Middleton, executive director of the state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union.

To get the DMV ID, voters must present a birth certificate, a social security card and proof of residency. If their name has changed since birth, they must present documentation, such as a marriage certificate or adoption records, according to the DMV Web site.

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