Grand Strand leaders react to blocked Voter ID Law

Published: Dec. 26, 2011 at 10:32 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 27, 2011 at 2:55 AM EST
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MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF)- The Justice Department blocked the South Carolina Voter ID Law Friday and days later leaders for and against the law are reacting on the Grand Strand.

Governor Nikki Haley signed the law back in May and it was supposed to take effect in January. The Obama administration put a hold on the law, saying it promotes discrimination against minorities.

The law mandates that anyone who goes to cast a ballot show a government-issued photo ID along with their voter registration card.

Grand Strand minority leaders say adding a step to the voting process like that specifically targets minorities, who are less likely to have IDs.

"Some African Americans in South Carolina don't have access to original copies of their birth certificate and that would really push blacks back as far as voting," said Mickey James, with the Myrtle Beach branch of the NAACP.

Rep. Alan Clemmons, (R)- Horry County, helped write the law. He says its intention is to secure the voting process and protect against voter fraud, not discriminate.

Clemmons says similar laws have worked in other states.

"It has increased reliability by the voter in making their vote count and not being diluted by votes that shouldn't count. It's increased participation," he said.

Haley said the State Attorney General will fight the Justice Department in court to get the law on the books.

"We have a right as a state to secure our elections through voter ID and it's not unreasonable to ask a voter to show their identification card at the polls," said Clemmons.

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