SC Legislators push Voter ID Bill - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

SC Legislators push Voter ID Bill

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By A.J. Ross - bio | email

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – Several registered voters in Horry County say they would support a new bill being considered by the South Carolina House of Representatives that would require voters in South Carolina to present a photo ID at the polls. 

The Voter ID bill passed through the Senate on Wednesday and will now go through the U.S. Justice Department and State House for final approval.

Craig Sewell, who resides in Conway, says showing a photo ID has become a requirement for many things nowadays, and elections should be no different.

"I've been involved in politics and voting and I've seen people vote more than once," said Sewell.  "So I think to have a photo ID would be a good thing to kind of make sure that voter fraud doesn't happen in elections."

If the new law is approved, state agencies like the South Carolina Elections Commission and Highway Patrol will begin issuing free photo IDs next July.

"The state is trying to implement a program where we'll give out voter ID cards with a picture on it if someone comes in to register," explained Horry County Elections Director Sandy Martin.  "Every election year we have different changes that come about and once we get everybody educated it doesn't seem to be a big issue."

Some lawmakers have argued that this change will be a big issue for some voters who don't already have a photo ID.  It is estimated that nearly 178,000 voters in South Carolina do not have a state issued photo ID, and some politicians worry the change will keep people from coming to the polls.

Robert Rabon, chairman of the Horry County Republican party, says people shouldn't let such a minor change prevent them from voting.

"The price we have for freedom wasn't free there's a lot of people who paid a greater sacrifice than to go get a voter ID," said Rabon.

If the new bill receives the green light, it will go into effect January 2012.

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