Lawmakers advance voter ID bill, opponents rally against it

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COLUMBIA (WACH, AP) - Lawmakers advanced a bill that would require voters to provide proper voter ID before casting their ballot.

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 17-4 Tuesday to advance the measure to the Senate floor after amending the House version. House Republicans pushed their bill through last week on a party-line vote.

Voters can now show either a driver's license or voter registration card, which lacks a photo. The proposal would require they show a photo ID.

Senators substituted the bill with the measure that passed in their chamber last year, with a few tweaks. Their version adds a two-week window of early voting in up to three locations per county. It also adds to the list of accepted photo IDs.

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Opponents say the bill is a form of voter suppression. Some groups say the requirement would potentially disenfranchise tens of thousands of registered voters without a valid photo ID and thousands of college students who want to vote locally.

The Voting Rights Partnership of South Carolina came together at the State House Tuesday to talk about why the voter ID bill known as House Bill 3003 should be rejected.

The Partnership includes: AARP South Carolina, ACLU of South Carolina, American Association of University Women SC, League of Women Voters of South Carolina, NAACP South Carolina, NAACP Charleston Branch, Protection and Advocacy for People with Disabilities, Inc., and SC Appleseed Legal Justice Center.

The measure died last year with the House and Senate unable to agree on a compromise between their two versions.

WACH Fox News will continue to keep you up to date as this bill moves through the Legislature.

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(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)