Proposed voting bill causing uproar
Thu, 09 Feb 2012 02:57:10 GMT —
COLUMBIA (WACH) -- After much debate about Voter ID, there is a new controversy regarding voting.
Protestors from various organizations were out in full force Wednesday at the State Capitol; calling for the end of House Bill 4549.
The measure says that organizations that help people register to vote must follow stricter regulations; like submitting personal information and hand down expensive fines for any type of error in registrations. Critics like League of Women's Voters Co-President Barbara Zia say it is unconstitutional.
"For many people, registering to vote is their first step in becoming an active citizen. this is going to curtail that right for many people."
South Carolina American Civil Liberties Union Executive Director Victoria Middleton said the move will especially hurt minorities; especially in a state with historically low turnout rates.
"The last presidential election, South Carolina was 42nd in voter turnout. And this is a voter suppression measure that will make it more difficult for people to register and vote."
But State Representative Alan Clemmons, a Republican from Horry County who is behind the bill, said it protects unregistered voters and creates accountability.
"If I don't turn that form in, if I put it in the trunk of my car and don't bother to turn it in for whatever reason, when you show up at the polls to vote, you are locked out. This puts a little more urgency behind turning the forms in if you are going to go out and solicit."
Clemons points to his constituents who have had that scenario occur to them and wants it to end. However, critics think the only thing it may stop is voting altogether.
The bill will be up for a second reading in two weeks. If it passes, it will proceed to a third discussion before heading to the Senate.