The state Senate is set to begin debate today on a voter ID bill that tied up the Senate for weeks last year. Senate President Pro Tempore Glenn McConnell moved to adjourn Tuesday to get an early start on the bill Wednesday.
The bill that passed the House was significantly amended by the Senate Judiciary to almost the same version of the bill that passed the Senate last year. It calls for certain photo ID requirements to vote, but also expands early voting. According to Democrats who opposed and amended the House version- this is a bill they can work with.
Lawmakers are trying to get this in place by the 2012 election. Groups that say this measure violates voting rights say it will end up in challenged in federal court.
At issue are poor, elderly and many African American voters who will be disqualified under new rules and most regain an ID in order to vote. Because of South Carolina’s history of unfair voting practices, the state will have to get final U.S Justice Department approval under the Voting Rights Act.