Ruling to approve but delay voter ID law not causing headaches for Grand Strand elections offices

bdickerson@thesunnews.comOctober 11, 2012 

— Wednesday’s ruling that upheld South Carolina’s law requiring photo identification for registered voters did not set off an avalanche of calls from confused voters on Thursday.

In fact, neither the Horry County election office nor the office in Georgetown County had heard from any voters by Thursday afternoon.

The law, which was upheld by a federal three-judge panel, does not go into effect until 2013.

In Horry County, officials are training poll workers, including telling them to ask voters to show either a voter registration card, a driver’s license or an ID card issued by the S.C. Highway Department, said Sandy Martin, voter registration and elections director.

This has been the same procedure Horry County Voter Registration officials have followed for years, Martin added.

Georgetown County will also stick to requiring pollsters to ask for one of those same three forms of identification, said Donna Mahn, county director of elections and voter registration.

She added the only course of action to take if there’s confusion on election day is to just explain to voters that voter ID enforcement doesn’t take effect until next year.

The federal panel on Wednesday found that the law was not discriminatory because of the safeguards in it, but would require more time to put those protections against discrimination in place

Such laws became priority issues in mostly Republican legislatures and for governors after the 2008 elections. Opponents have described them as responses to the record turnouts of minorities and other Democratic-leaning constituencies that helped put Barack Obama, the first African-American president, in the White House.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Contact reporter BRAD DICKERSON at 626-0301.

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