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House votes to require photo IDs at polls

February 27, 2009


For More Information:
Asst. Maj. Leader Bruce Bannister
(803) 734-3009
Rep. Alan Clemmons
(803) 734-2994

COLUMBIA – Voters must present a valid, government-issued photo ID at the polls in a bill approved by the full House of Representatives Thursday.

The legislation approved by the House is the first of several critical election reforms that will ensure fair elections in South Carolina. The photo ID bill is a House Republican Caucus agenda item and was authored by House Speaker Bobby Harrell of Charleston and Republican Alan Clemmons of Myrtle Beach. The bill was approved 63-14 along party lines.

“The mantra of ‘one person, one vote’ is a critical part of our democracy,” said Rep. Clemmons. “We need to ensure that in South Carolina, we have ‘one person and only one vote.’”

An Indiana law requiring a photo ID to vote has been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court (Crawford v. Marion County 128 S. Ct. 1610).

Republicans included language in the bill that repeals the $5 fee for a state-issued photo ID, to ensure no law-abiding South Carolinian is denied a vote because they could not afford identification. A voter may provide a state driver’s license, state ID card, U.S. Passport or U.S. Military ID.

“Do we have recorded instances of voter fraud?” asked Rep. Clemmons from the House floor. “Does the horse have to be out of the barn before we close the door?”

A voter who does not provide an ID can cast a provisional ballot and then has 10 days after a general election to produce the ID to have that ballot counted.

“Requiring a photo ID to vote for your public officials is not an undue burden on anybody,” said Rep. Bruce Bannister of Greenville, the House Assistant Majority Leader. “You need a photo ID to buy Sudafed, board an airplane, buy alcohol or cigarettes, cash a check, or even use a credit card at some stores. There is no reason that you should not prove you are who you say you are when you go to vote. It’s a major loophole in our election law that the House wants closed.”



For More Information:
Majority Leader Kenny Bingham
(803) 734-3139
Rep. Alan Clemmons
(803) 734-2994

House Rejects ‘Fusion Voting’
Republicans amend the bill to eliminate straight-ticket voting

COLUMBIA – The House of Representatives, led by House Speaker Bobby Harrell and Rep. Alan Clemmons, approved three major changes to election law on Thursday to make future elections more fair and transparent.

A first bill approved along party lines required a photo identification to vote.  The second bill bans “fusion voting” and eliminates straight-ticket voting in South Carolina.  Fusion voting is a process where candidates can be listed multiple times on a ballot – representing different parties – and combine their votes in the final tally.

The bill was overwhelmingly approved 61-7.

Both fusion voting and straight-ticket voting are currently only allowed in a handful of states.  Fusion voting was common in the 19th Century.  Prohibiting fusion voting was upheld by the Supreme Court in 1997 in the case Timmons v. Twin Cities Area New Party.

“Voting is not just a right, it is a responsibility of every citizen in the United States,” said Majority Leader Kenny Bingham.  “’Fusion voting’ and straight-ticket voting are antiquated election laws that need reform.”

The two bills complete the Republican Caucus’ agenda item to reform our election laws.

“All of these reforms we approved today respond to problems that have surfaced with our elections in the past several years,” said Rep. Alan Clemmons, R-Myrtle Beach.  “It is unfortunate that we have people trying to game the system, but it is a fact.

“The United States is watched by the rest of the world for free and fair elections,” Clemmons added.

Both pieces of legislation will now go to the Senate after a routine third reading.


3 Comments leave one →
  1. Deasia permalink
    March 3, 2009 9:55 am

    First blog I read after wakeup from sleep today!

    Are you tension? panic?

  2. linda phillips permalink
    September 5, 2009 6:42 am

    showing your ID when voting is one of the greatest ideas S,C. can do. It will keep voter fraud down. Ilike for my vote to count.

  3. Justus permalink
    September 7, 2009 5:40 pm

    Voter fraud happens and I have personally seen and r in the audience of a town hall meeting not eported it.Come to find out the person that did it was over that particular poll and employed by the country. It was covered up.I also saw where a Congressman accused a man in a town hall meeting of not being who he said he was and one of his constituents and made him prove it but yet these same Democrats dont want to you have to prove you are elgible to vote. America is in dire straights and going down the drain.All elected officials should be put out to pasture. We have enough Czars to run America anyway.

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