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In previous years, Amanda Wolf of Sumter, SC, voted using her Florida student photo ID. But the new South Carolina voter ID law changed that. Amanda had to wait more than 6 months to get the proper papers to qualify for a photo ID. Luckily, she received free help from a retired judge since attorneys can charge $1800.
Donna Suggs, a nurse’s aide, also wanted to vote and didn’t have a birth certificate because a midwife delivered her and did not report her birth. Free help from an attorney finally helped her get her birth certificate and ultimately a valid photo ID.
Why did these citizens have to overcome what could have been insurmountable barriers (without professional help) to exercise their voting rights? State Senator Chip Campsen, who sponsored new SC voter ID law, says that the state needs assurance that those “casting votes at the polls are actually casting votes that are legitimate, and they are actually individuals who they say they are, who they are supposed to be.”
Barbara Zia, co-president of the SC League of Women Voters, noted, “We’ve talked with the state elections commission. They know of none [voter impersonation], and they’ve gone on record saying that there is none. So we say it’s a solution in search of a problem.” Read more here and watch the video.
Do you know of others who have faced similar barriers to exercising their right to vote? Were they able to overcome them? Read more about the proliferation of voter ID laws and the challenges here.