A new South Carolina voter identification law is impacting majority-black precincts more than others in the state, according to a study by the Associated Press.
The measure requires that every person have photo ID of some kind when they vote, whether it is a driver’s license, military ID or passport, the AP wrote. The law has been under review by the Department of Justice to see if it violates the Voting Rights Act.
The AP found that many voters in majority-black counties in South Carolina do not have proper identification — and the percentage of minority voters without the right identification is higher in those areas than other precincts statewide.
For example, in Richland County, there are 11,087 nonwhite voters without ID, and in Orangeburg County, there are 4,544. The AP study said that means half of those impacted in Richland are not white voters. In Orangeburg, that equals 73 percent of nonwhite voters hit by the law.
The AP’s analysis of the state’s 2,135 precincts reveals there are 10 precincts where almost all of the people who are impacted by the new law are minority voters.
“This is electoral genocide,” SC Democratic Party Chairman Dick Harpootlian told the AP. “This is disenfranchising huge groups of people who don’t have the money to go get an ID card.”
Similar laws exist in Indiana and Georgia, while four other states also passed new measures this year requiring photo identification in order to cast a ballot. In South Carolina, if someone goes to the polls without proper ID, they are still able to vote absentee or use a provisional ballot, the AP noted.
The state is also giving free IDs to those that need them.
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