Orangeburg County lawmakers say the state is failing to tell voters they don’t need photo identification to cast a ballot under South Carolina’s new voter ID law. Tuesday’s special election in Branchville will be the first one in the state under the new law. But Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter says officials aren’t telling residents they only need a valid voter registration card to cast a ballot and photo identification is not required. The Orangeburg Democrat said she will bring up the matter in the General Assembly, which opens its new session Tuesday. But “that’s after the fact. The town is having the election” Tuesday, she lamented. “The question is who doesn’t vote because they don’t know” they don’t need a photo ID, said Sen. Brad Hutto, D-Orangeburg.
Three candidates are seeking to complete Glenn Miller’s four-year term on Branchville Town Council: Charlene Norris Negron, Sam Whisenhunt Jr. and Luvenia Williams. Miller became the town’s mayor after the death of Tim O. Cooner on July 19.
During Monday’s meeting of the Orangeburg County Legislative Delegation, Cobb-Hunter said a panel of three judges allowed South Carolina to implement a photo ID law on the condition that voters were informed that they do not have to present a photo ID if they can cite a “reasonable impediment” for not having a photo ID.
And it’s not elections officials, but the voter who decides whether the impediment cited is reasonable, Hutto added.
Cobb-Hunter recalled that she and Hutto personally testified before a panel of federal judges considering the legality of South Carolina’s photo ID law.
“There were specific questions about how (the state would) implement it,” Cobb-Hunter said. She said the court ruled that the state could implement the law as long as it contained a “reasonable impediment” provision.
Full Article: Lawmakers: S.C. fails on voter ID promises.