Tuesday’s Republican and Democratic primaries will be the first statewide elections under South Carolina’s new voter ID law.
The law, which took effect in January 2013, requires voters to present a photo identification in order to vote. While the law has already been enforced in some local races, this will be the first statewide election under the new language.
The law requires anyone wanting to vote to present an official state or federal-issued ID. However, the law also allows voters who have a “reasonable impediment “to instead show a non-photo voter registration card, sign an affidavit with regards to the problem with getting an ID, and cast a provisional ballot.
State Election Commission spokesman Chris Whitmire says he does not expect the law to affect voters too much in these elections because he says most people already use a photo ID to vote.
“I’d say about 90% of voters are covered,” Whitmire told South Carolina Radio Network. “I don’t think the average voter is going to see any change at all because we know most voters vote with their license, and that is one of the approved IDs.”
The list of approved IDs includes drivers licenses, DMV issued IDs, photo-voter registration cards, a federal military ID, or a US Passport.
A voter without a photo ID will still be able to cast if they fill out a provisional ballot.
“You sign the affidavit, you vote a provisional ballot, and that provisional ballot will count unless someone proves to the election commission prior to certification of the election that either you aren’t who you say you are or you didn’t have the impediment you said you did,” Whitmire said.
Voters on Tuesday will decide who their party should nominate in races for governor, Statehouse, and South Carolina’s school chief.
South Carolina Radio Network’s Patrick Ingraham filed this report.