Attorney General Eric Holder
Ahead of its 2012 GOP presidential primary, South Carolina is under fire for having enacted a voter identification law that would require citizens to show poll workers a photo ID before voting. (You know—sort of like having to pay a poll tax and prove your ancestors came over on the Mayflower.)
The law is intended to curb voter fraud, which is more prevalent in South Carolina and other southern states and states with relatively small populations. Some states’ historically corrupt local governments and proximity to the Mexican border have yielded a disproportionate incidence of voter-impersonation fraud, including non-citizens voting, ex-felons voting, and dead people voting. Small populations increase the influence that a handful of invalid votes can have on a precinct’s outcome.
Seven states besides South Carolina require a government-issued photo ID to vote: Texas, Georgia, Tennessee, Mississippi, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Kansas. Seven additional states require a simple photo ID: Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Michigan, South Dakota, Idaho, and Hawaii. Three states passed photo ID laws in 2011 but were blocked by their governors’ vetoes. Sixteen other states require non-photo identification.
So South Carolina isn’t exactly doing something new and different. read more »