Group protesting state's new voter ID law
Fri, 08 Jul 2011 08:15:30 GMT —
COLUMBIA (WACH, AP) -- A South Carolina group held a State House news conference to protest the state's new voter ID bill Friday.
The SC Progressive Network laid out the case Friday afternoon that it plans to make to the U.S. Justice Department that the law requiring South Carolina voters to show a state driver's license or identification card at the polls will prevent a number of eligible voters from casting ballots.Related Stories Councilman organizes protest of recently signed Voter I.D. bill Haley signs bill requiring voters show photo ID Lawmakers advance voter ID bill, opponents rally against it Voter ID, illegal immigration back up for debate State officials detail voter protection plans
The group says South Carolina has one of the most restrictive requirements to get an official ID, including having to show a birth certificate.
"This law will prevent thousands of South Carolinians from voting," said Network Director Brett Bursey in a release. "Since there is no evidence of individuals pretending to be someone else at the polls, the clear intent of this law - passed by a Republican Party line vote - is to suppress the vote of poor people and minorities, who historically vote Democrat."
The Progressive Network is enlisting voters who might not be able cast ballots as it challenges the state's new voter ID bill.
Two South Carolinians were at the news conference who have IDs that let them through security to fly on airplanes, but won't be accepted if they try to vote.
Republican legislators counter by saying there is an issue of voter integrity. Lexington Representative Rick Quinn says the legislation would crack down on voter fraud that is going on.
"We've had instances for example, where one person turned in over 500 absentee ballots themselves in an election recently," Quinn says.
The U.S. Justice Department is expected to review the new law because of South Carolina's past voter rights violation history.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)