Voter ID laws have been called the modern-era Jim Crow—and evidence keeps piling up to support that notion. A new analysis by the Associated Press reveals that South Carolina’s Voter ID law is hitting precincts with a large amount of black voters the hardest—including some colleges.
More than 200,000 active, registered voters in South Carolina lack satisfactory IDs under the state’s law, which would be a sobering number even without racial inequality. Statewide in South Carolina, 66 percent of voters without proper ID are white and 34 percent are non-white, fairly close to the ratio of all registered voters—70 percent white, 30 percent non-white. But at the precinct level, the numbers tell a different story.
At the historically black Benedict College in Columbia, nearly half of registered voters lack proper ID—and only five of those 1,343 are white. In one precinct at South Carolina State University, more than one-third of voters—800 non-white and 17 white—do not have ID.
In Richland County, the state’s second-most populous county, over half of impacted voters are non-white. And in the predominately black Orangeburg County, that number is 73 percent.
Overall, the effect on majority-black precincts is disproportionate to the impact on majority-white precincts. And black college students have the demographic deck stacked even higher against them, since Voter ID laws disproportionately affect both minority and student populations.
“This is electoral genocide,” State Democratic Party Chairman Dick Harpootlian told the Associated Press. “This is disenfranchising huge groups of people who don’t have the money to go get an ID card.”