the republicans in the south carolina house of representatives recently passed a bill requiring voters to present a photo identification at the polls in order to vote. the vote took place after the black caucus and house democrats walked out of the chamber.
the issue overlooked by the house republicans was that the requirement would place an additional obstacle on elderly, poor and minority rural voters across the state. particularly in our state's rural counties, there are many people who lack transportation. even though the bill makes a free photo id card available from the department of motor vehicles, it does not make it any easier for people without transportation to get to the dmv during their limited hours. it also does not provide additional staffing to expedite transactions or make any additional accommodations for people who cannot stand in line.
the question becomes 'what is an acceptable level of disenfranchisement?' apparently, house republicans have decided that losing the voters who would be frustrated by the bill's requirements is entirely acceptable.
this bill is being touted as protecting the integrity of the vote. the irony is, however, many precincts use touch screen voting machines that can be programmed to flip votes to favor one candidate over another. someone should remind our lawmakers that joseph stalin once said 'the people who cast the votes do not decide an election, the people who count the votes do.'