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Friday, February 01, 2013

Myrtle Beach politician at heart of voting ID controversy pushes for week of early voting

State Rep. Alan Clemmons found himself knee-deep in the controversy that was the voter ID law, which was challenged by the federal government, delayed then upheld after it was effectively gutted. It can be implemented this year, but it has to be liberally interpreted, meaning if you don't have an ID, all you have to do is give the poll worker a reason and your vote will be counted.

The main issue was not an objection to having to use a photo ID; it was about how the law seemed designed to stifle the ability of certain groups of people to use their Constitutionally protected right to vote. The law's supporters said it was about making sure there was integrity within the voting process and to thwart any attempts at voter fraud.

It did not specify that those who did not have the proper ID and would have trouble obtaining one had to be sought out and helped before the law went into effect. And other moves in South Carolina and other states that cut down or out early voting, as well as made it harder to hold voter registration drives were taken together as a deliberate attempt to deny certain voters their rights. Yes, I was among the chorus.

Clemmons promised to push for an early voting law not too long after the voter ID law passed, but he did not get around to it before the 2012 elections. Now, he has.

That's a step in the right direction, even if a bit late.

S.C. House panel advances early voting

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