S.C. Law Voter ID Law Having Greater Effect On Minorities

A South Carolina law requiring photo ID to vote is disproportionately affecting minority voters, an AP analysis finds.
by | October 19, 2011
 

A new South Carolina voter photo identification law seems to be disproportionately affecting minority voters in minority-heavy precincts, according to an analysis by the Associated Press.

In one example, almost 50 percent of voters in a historically black district in Columbia do not have state-issued photo identification and could encounter problems voting in next year's election, the AP reports. In surrounding counties, the percentage of minority voters without proper state identification is higher than it is statewide.

The state's new voting law requires voters to present a state-issued driver's license or identification card, a military ID or a passport when they vote. People lacking one of those items can still cast a provisional or absentee ballot, according to the AP. The U.S. Justice Department is currently reviewing the law's legality under the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

"This is electoral genocide," state Democratic Party Chairman Dick Harpootlian told the news agency. "This is disenfranchising huge groups of people who don't have the money to go get an ID card."

South Carolina was one of five states to pass legislation this year that requires some form of identification when voting, the AP reports.

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