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SC Voter ID Costs: Seeing Triple



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South Carolina spent $3.5 million to successfully defend its voter ID bill, S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson’s office announced this week.  That’s more than three times the original cost estimate, which was first reported by former (Charleston, S.C.) Post and Courier reporter Renee Dudley last January.

In fact Dudley’s estimate was scoffed at as being too high at the time …

Last October, a three-judge panel upheld South Carolina’s law – which requires that voters present a valid photo ID prior to casting their ballots. Wilson referred to the ruling as “a major victory for South Carolina and its election process.”

South Carolina lawmakers have appropriated more than $1 million to pay for IDs (including a recurring cost of $100,000 each year) … but that appropriation won’t necessarily solve our state’s problem. Why not? Because to obtain a photo ID in South Carolina one must first obtain a copy of their birth certificate, which the S.C. Department of Vital Statistics won’t give you unless you show them … wait for it … your photo ID.

See how that works?

FITS opposed the voter ID law on the grounds that it addressed a nonexistent problem.  We also objected to the way certain politicians – led by S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley – fabricated information in an effort to support the law. Also, as far as we’re concerned the rigging of elections is a much bigger problem in our state …

Why were the costs associated with defending this law so high? That’s a good question …

Obviously the costs associated with defending this legislation fall most squarely on the U.S. Department of Justice (USDOJ) – which went out of its way to make political hay at South Carolina’s expense (even after its non-political staff recommended approving the legislation).

“Damn liberal bureaucrats in D.C. are responsible for this bill,” one source familiar with the case tells FITS.

More to the point, the fact that South Carolina is one of a handful of states which has to “pre-clear” election laws with Washington is ridiculous. Our state has a black U.S. Senator and an Indian-American governor – and while neither of them is the fiscal conservative champion they claim to be – their presence in such high offices would seem to indicate the Palmetto State’s history of disenfranchising minorities is a thing of the past.