The South Carolina attorney general’s office has told the state Election Commission to provide details on voters excluded from an analysis of people lacking state issued identification required by the state’s controversial voter I.D. law.
The law passed this year requires voters to show photo identification such as a South Carolina driver’s license in order to cast regular ballots at polling places. The law still needs approval from the U.S. Justice Department.
The federal agency wanted details on registered voters that don’t have state-issued ID’s. Commission officials provided information about nearly 217,000 voters who have voted in the past two general elections. However, up to 74,000 voters were deemed inactive in 2009 because they hadn’t voted in 2006 or 2008. This week, the attorney general’s office told the commission to get data on those voters.
“What we’re seeing is evidence of an ill-conceived, poorly designed and poorly implemented plan,” said Brett Bursey of the SC Progressive Network in reaction to the miscalcuation. “Those are the ones we know. How many don’t we know? People will be disenfranchised if this law goes into effect.”
Since the measure was first debated at the State House earlier this year, support and opposition for voter ID has split largely along party lines. Democrats say many in the elderly, disabled and minority populations don’t have photo identification, and may not be able to get one.