Black lawmakers staged a walkout Thursday as the South Carolina House voted to approve a bill requiring state voters to show photo identification at polling places. The bill received key approval by a 65-14 vote following hours of contentious debate. Republicans said it’s an issue of voter integrity and security. Democrats contend it’s about suppressing the vote of the elderly, disabled and minorities.
Members of the Legislative Black Caucus called it a backlash against the election of President Barack Obama. Caucus chairman Representative David Weeks of Sumter County Republicans want to create road blocks for potential voters. “Now exactly who are Republican poll watchers going to challenge? They are going to challenge people they think vote Democrat and so it’s obviously a part of their agenda for the year. They’ re not trying to make the process easier, they’re trying to tighten the process up as much as they can. That’s just the reality.” [Read more…]