The South Carolina Senate passed H 3003, the Voter ID bill, sending it to Governor Haley with a straight party line vote.
The voter ID bill will cost money, as the state will be required to offer free ID to anyone who cannot afford it.
Importantly, the bill will interfere with the ability of voters to exercise their right. Defenders of voter ID bill claim that they will reduce fraud. However there is no evidence of any organized voter substitution.
The requirement for voter picture ID seems more driven by paranoia about who has the vote. It is common to see white self-identified poll watchers in black majority precincts intimidating voters through insistence on current ID requirements.
The Brennan Center for Justice reports that:
Burdensome photo ID or proof of citizenship requirements for voting could block millions of eligible American voters without addressing any real problem. Although most Americans have government-issued photo ID, studies show that as many as 12% of eligible voters nationwide do not; the percentage is even higher for seniors, people of color, people with disabilities, low-income voters, and students. Many of those citizens find it hard to get such IDs, because the underlying documentation (the ID one needs to get ID) is often difficult to come by. Those difficulties will increase substantially if documentary proof of citizenship is needed to vote or to obtain the identification required to vote.
The cost of the Voter ID bill is yet to be determined. Yet, it is the first bill to be passed by the legislature this year. Next on the agenda is a pro-school voucher bill, which will probably pass, and is estimated to cost the state $25 Million:
A budget panel initially proposed the money as a one-time cash infusion from a pot of money that funds schools. The vote Wednesday was applauded as not re-directing money that would go to traditional schools, and as a permanent budget line, meaning advocates won’t have to come seeking money again next year.
“It doesn’t matter to me where the money comes from as long as we get sustainable funding,” said charter district superintendent Wayne Brazell.
The South Carolina Legislature is perfectly capable of spending money when it serves the special interests of the SC GOP. It will not deal with the estimated $200 Million shortfall in the state budget with the same speed.
In fact the $25 Million that will go to fund privately operated charter schools will draw on the general revenue that could go to support Medicare in this state.
H 3003 Voter ID
AYES – 26
|Alexander, Thomas C.||Bright, Lee||Bryant, Kevin L.||Campbell, Paul G., Jr.|
|Campsen, George E., III||Cleary, Raymond E., III||Cromer, Ronnie W.||Davis, Tom|
|Fair, Michael L.||Grooms, Lawrence K.||Hayes, Robert W., Jr.||Knotts, John M., Jr.|
|Leatherman, Hugh K., Sr.||Martin, Larry A.||Martin, Shane R.||McConnell, Glenn F.|
|McGill, J. Yancey||O’Dell, William H.||Peeler, Harvey S., Jr.||Rankin, Luke A.|
|Rose, Michael T.||Ryberg, W. Greg||Setzler, Nikki G.||Shoopman, Phillip W.|
|Thomas, David L.||Verdin, Daniel B., III|
NAYS – 15
|Coleman, Creighton B.||Elliott, Dick||Ford, Robert||Hutto, C. Bradley|
|Jackson, Darrell||Land, John C., III||Leventis, Phil P.||Lourie, Joel|
|Malloy, Gerald||Nicholson, Floyd||Pinckney, Clementa C.||Reese, Glenn G.|
|Scott, John L., Jr.||Sheheen, Vincent A.||Williams, Kent M.|
Democrats Ralph Anderson, J. Yancey McGill, and John W. Matthews, Jr. did not vote.