South Carolina last week became the second state to recently pass what critics are calling discriminatory voter ID legislation. The bill, which Republican Gov. Nikki Haley is expected to sign, will make South Carolina one of four states that require voters to present photo identification before they’re allowed to vote. There are several other states, however, emboldened by GOP control, that are considering similar legislation, despite little to no evidence of voter fraud that would necessitate such measures.
The American Civil Liberties Union predicts that nearly 189,000 elderly, student, minority or low-income voters in South Carolina could be disenfranchised because of the bill. “We hope that Gov. Haley will veto this bill and tell South Carolina lawmakers that we should be seeking ways to encourage more voters, not inventing excuses to deny voters the ability to cast their ballots,” said Victoria Middleton, executive director of the South Carolina ACLU, in a statement. “This bill sends a clear message that you shouldn’t be allowed to vote unless you can afford a photo ID and the documents needed to get one. No citizen should have to pay to vote. Such an assault on basic American principles is not only unconstitutional, it’s unconscionable.”
The state Senate in Texas also approved a voter ID bill last week, and both the state House of Representatives and Gov. Rick Perry are expected to support it.
(Photo: Associated Press AP)