How South Carolina Has Handled Voter ID Law
York County, SC — North Carolina lawmakers are working to write the law that would require voters to have a photo ID to cast a ballot.
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South Carolina has required photo ID to vote since 2014.
“It’s worked out,” said York County’s Deputy Director of Elections.
He says five forms of photo ID work: drivers license, a DMV ID card, military ID, passport or voter registration card with a picture on it.
If you cannot get one because of a disability, work schedule, lack of birth certificate or any other obstacle, the poll worker must take your word for it and allow you to cast a provisional ballot.
“We took it upon ourselves to make sure that everybody had an opportunity to get one,” said Helms.
Elections officials in York County go to polling locations with a camera and print photo IDs on election day.
They take photos at high schools and senior facilities, and they go to colleges to tell students about the law.
The state found out which voters did not have drivers licenses and sent them a warning letter.
“I think it is opening the door to voter suppression,” said Rock Hill NAACP President Dorene Boular.
Boular says the law is unnecessary.
“It’s really a solution to a problem that we didn’t that we didn’t have,” said Boular.
Republicans argue it deters voter fraud.
Federal judges say, if not written precisely, these laws can discriminate against minority voters, who usually vote democrat.
38 point five percent of South Carolina voters impacted by the photo ID requirement in 2016 were African American, according to the election commission.
“There is some impact,” said Boular.
30 York County voters did not have photo ID in the November 2018 election. That’s the most since the law took effect, according to the election commission.
“We don’t feel like it’s been a very big issue in South Carolina, and it went real smoothly,” said Helms.
In North Carolina, lawmakers on each side have filed bills. Once the vote is finalized, the law would be implemented by May 2019.