Going on two days now, the state Senate has been slowed by a filibuster. Democrats have stopped progress on addressing the governor’s vetoes, because debate was introduced on a voter identification bill.
A version passed in conference committee does not sit well with Democrats, who say it will restrict voting for thousands of South Carolinians with no ID.
Orangeburg’s Brad Hutto led the filibuster into the late hours.
This issue has been clogging debate in both houses since the session began in January.
The bill also sets up the process for early and absentee voting, but the requirement to get IDs triggered the Democrats’ filibuster. Democrats contend the ID proviso was introduced after a strong Democrat turnout in the 2008 elections. Hutto says there is no evidence of voter fraud, and he questions the ID requirement.
Late in the evening, state GOP Chair Karen Floyd issued a call for Republican senators to join ranks or face retaliation:
Specifically, Senators Rankin and Knotts need to join their Republican colleagues in helping to sit the Democrats down. Make no mistake–this issue is very much on the radar of our activists, and where their Senators stand will likely be remembered come the next election.
The Senate recessed at 11:44 p.m. and will resume debate at 9:30 Thursday morning.