“I continue to be amazed at how when we try to do things in our state that are just common sense, that they are politicized, ” Haley said at the open of today’s press conference.
Senate Democrats have been outspoken against the new law that requires citizens to have state-approved photo identification to vote, which means that those with only a voter registration card can only vote on a provisional ballot. Critics argue that elderly people who cannot travel easily or those who do not have a birth certificate will have to go to great lengths to regain their voting privileges.
In a statement today, the state Senate Democratic Caucus called the offer by the governor “a stunt.”
“Governor Haley and the Republicans continue to miss the point. The issue is their voter suppression law discriminates against people,” said Senator Brad Hutto (D-Orangeburg), who adds, “And one day of Haley’s Cab Company is not going to fix it.”
The U-S Justice Department is reviewing South Carolina’s new voter ID law and has recently asked for more information. Haley says she hopes these efforts will help: “I hope that this shows them that we are serious about this, that this is not just a political tactic that others are trying to make it, that we actually care about the electoral process. And we want to do everything we can to make sure that everybody that wants to vote, can vote.”
DMV director Kevin Schwedo says he has dedicated much of his resources to making this event happen so that anyone who wants an ID —and qualifies– can get one.
AUDIO : Schwedo explains the process (2:19)
“If you have to show a picture ID to buy Sudafed, if you have to show a picture ID to get on an airplane, you should show a picture ID when you vote,” said Governor Nikki Haley.
To obtain an identification card, citizens must have a birth certificate, Social Security card and proof of residency.
“The most important thing citizens need to remember is that we cannot issue any type of credential without the proper documents to back it up. That’s the hurdle most people face when trying to get an identification card,” said Shwedo. “For many people, the real problem is getting a birth certificate.”
To apply for a birth certificate, citizens born in South Carolina must contact the the Division of Vital Records at the Department of Health and Environmental Control. Citizens not born in South Carolina should contact their birth state for assistance.
To participate, citizens may call 1-855-STATE ID (1-855-782-8343) toll-free and DMV will accept requests through September 22.
Participating citizens must be physically able to walk either on their own power, with a walker or with a cane. DMV employees are not prepared to deal with special needs.