No Surprise: S.C.’s Voter ID Law Hits Blacks Hardest

From The Associated Press:

By Jim Davenport

Oct 19, 3:17 AM EDT

COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina’s new voter photo identification law appears to be disproportionately affecting minority voters in one of the state’s largest counties and black precincts elsewhere, according to an analysis by The Associated Press.

For instance, nearly half the voters who cast ballots at a historically black college in Columbia lack state-issued photo identification and could face problems voting in next year’s presidential election, according to the analysis of precinct-level data provided by the state Election Commission.

In surrounding Richland County, the state’s second-most populous county, the percentage of minority voters without the IDs is also higher than what it is statewide. The same is true for majority-black Orangeburg County.

“This is electoral genocide,” state Democratic Party Chairman Dick Harpootlian said. “This is disenfranchising huge groups of people who don’t have the money to go get an ID card.”

State Election Commission spokesman Chris Whitmire said the numbers show there is work ahead for the state.

“It means they would have to take some action to get proper ID,” Whitmire said.

South Carolina’s photo identification law requires people to show a state-issued driver’s license or identification card, a military ID or passport when they vote. Without those forms of identification, they can still cast a provisional ballot or vote absentee. The U.S. Justice Department has been reviewing the law for months under the federal Voting Rights Act. Continue reading