Tuesday, an opinion was released from the state Attorney General’s Office that established the opinion of the state that the Senate version of the voter ID bill isn’t constitutional. However, the opinion did say the House version of the legislation is constitutional. This leads us to reiterate the importance of the Senate concurring with the House language and sending it on to Gov. Nikki Haley to be signed into law.
Earlier this year, Rep. Alan Clemmons inquired about the constitutional legitimacy of the voter ID bill and a particular “grandfather provision” that allows everyone born before Jan. 2, 1947 to be exempt from the law. Deputy Atty. Gen. Robert Cook wrote that by singling out a class of people in such a way, the provision would violate the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
We need a voter ID law in South Carolina, and we need the House version — a “clean” version — of the bill. The right to vote is one of the most precious rights we have as Americans. We can’t let that be played with or considered lightly. Having a photo ID is a part of living in modern society, and making sure it’s required to vote makes our process of electing our representatives all that much safer.
It’s heartening to see the Attorney General’s Office backing a clean bill. But the struggle isn’t over yet. Please call or email your senator and tell them to support a clean voter ID bill today.