Critics say voter ID bill too burdensome

COLUMBIA --- Legislation requiring South Carolina voters to show a photo ID at the polls is too costly for taxpayers and too burdensome for residents who lack a driver's license, opponents of the measure said Tuesday.

Advocates for the poor, disabled and minorities said the bill would suppress voter participation and take the state backward in voting rights.

"Voting is a right, not a privilege. Government should be making it easier for voters to exercise their rights," said Victoria Middleton, the executive director of the state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union.

Other groups joining her at the Statehouse included AARP, the League of Women Voters, the NAACP and Protection and Advocacy for People with Disabilities.

Its executive director, Gloria Prevost, said people with disabilities rely on others for transportation, and the bill would impede their access to a ballot box.

In January, the GOP-controlled House pushed the measure through on a party-line vote. It comes up for debate in the House today with the Senate's changes.

Republican legislators pushed the issue last year, but it died with the House and Senate unable to agree on a compromise.

Republicans say it's an issue of voter integrity. Democrats complain it would disenfranchise voters and harken back to Jim Crow-era laws meant to keep minorities from voting.

Currently, voters can show voter registration cards, which lack pictures, or driver's licenses. Under the measure, they would have to show either licenses, photo IDs issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles, passports, military IDs, or new voter registration cards that include photos.

About 178,000 voters in South Carolina don't have driver's licenses or DMV-issued photo IDs, according to the state Election Commission.

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copperhead 03/30/11 - 01:24 am
Proof of citizenship should

Proof of citizenship should not be a requiement to vote. Every person in this country has a god-given right to a voice in our government no matter their status as citizen or undocumented worker. Whether a person has been here 10 years or 10 minutes,they have the right to vote. Requiring valid I.D. to vote is racist and hatred pure and simple. Stop the racism and hatred today,encourage an undocumented worker to vote.

bettyboop 03/30/11 - 08:41 am
it would be funny if it

it would be funny if it wasn't the goal of liberals copperhead.

Labatt 03/30/11 - 08:55 am
How can anyone get by without

How can anyone get by without an ID?
I would like to see a law passed that requires store clerks to check ID's for all credit card transactions (including EBT).
Sorry, but I also feel that if I'm paying for you to live, with the exception of SS (you folks paid in) or disability (you can't work) you don't get a vote. Conflict of interest.

corgimom 03/30/11 - 10:06 pm
I went to the doctor today. I

I went to the doctor today. I had to show them my driver's license, they scanned it into their computer. I've been going there for years and they know me- it's to reduce fraud.

Hospitals are now the same way.

If those people don't have picture ID's- which I don't believe for one minute, by the way- how do they get medical care?

seenitB4 03/31/11 - 08:25 am
Where do I show

Where do I show id..
Doctors office
Grocery store
Mortgage office
Tax offc
Drivers Lic ofc
When buying alcohol-beer
Lawyers ofc
soooo voting & showing id doesn't bother me.

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