Some see South Carolina’s voter ID law and other states’ efforts to tighten early voting as less of an attempt to curb voter fraud than some of the earliest volleys in the 2012 presidential race. At least that is how the laws were painted by Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.), as well as NAACP members and union leaders who spoke before more than 100 people at a Tuesday evening rally in Charleston, S.C. Clyburn said he has visited Florida four times in the past six weeks to work on anti-voter-suppression efforts with the Democratic National Congressional Committee. He noted that national GOP strategist Karl Rove has forecast that President Barack Obama could win South Carolina this fall, and Republicans are fighting to keep this state — and other swing states — in the GOP column. “They have put in these draconian rules and regulations and laws because they have calculated that if they can suppress the vote by 1 percent in nine different states, we lose the national election in November,” Clyburn said. “That’s their calculation.” Most experts put the Palmetto State solidly in the Republican column.
William Rivers of Charleston, said he showed up for Tuesday’s event at the International Longshoremen’s Association Hall because he shared Clyburn’s concern. “A lot of people don’t have any [photo] ID to identify themselves,” he said. “What it is all about is to try to get President Obama out of there.” Obama won his first term in 2008 with record turnout from minority communities across the nation.
Tuesday’s event in Charleston was organized by the United Steelworkers union and featured politicians and nonpartisan voices discussing the impact of South Carolina’s voter ID law passed last year — a law that requires voters to have a state-issued photo ID to vote. Currently, voters may identify themselves with their voter registration card, which has no photo. The law has not taken effect and is being challenged in court. Clyburn said the issue is not whether voters should identify themselves but what sort of ID the state requires — and whether those requirements are written to limit certain voting blocs