South Carolina elected officials are heading to Washington D.C. this week to voice their opinions on the voter identification law that is to go before a three-judge panel in U.S. District Court.
Rep. Bakari Sellers (D-Denmark), an attorney with the Strom Law Firm in Columbia, also made the trip to Washington DC in opposition of the voter identification law. This morning Sellers tweeted, “I would have never guessed that nearly 50 years after my father fought and almost died for voting rights, I would be fighting in 2012. I remain very steadfast in my convictions. We cannot turn the clock back to the 1960’s. ”
According to the Charleston City Paper, SC Attorney General Alan Wilson along with colleagues Sen. Chip Campsen (R-Charleston), state Rep. Bobby Harrell (R-Charleston) and Lt. Gov. Glenn McConnell all will appear in Washington DC to defend the controversial state law requiring all voters to show photo identification when voting at the polls.
In December, the U.S. Justice Department struck down the law stating it discriminated against black voters. South Carolina is now suing to allow the law to take effect when voters hit the polls in November. Sen. Campsen, Rep. Harrell and Lt. Gov. McConnell and others represent the State of South Carolina in the case and are on the schedule to testify as witnesses. Defendant-intervenors in the case include the SC State Conference of the NAACP, the League of Women Voters of South Carolina and the SC Progressive Network.
Proponents for Voter Identification
Attorney General Alan Wilson and colleagues argue the voter identification law, which passed in May 2011, will prevent instances of voter fraud. The law defines voter fraud as individuals showing up at the polls and giving the names of dead people, or impersonating other voters.
In April, Wilson spoke at an event in Columbia defending the voter ID law and raising money to support James O’Keefe. O’Keefe is a conservative video prankster who went undercover posing as pimp to try to uncover a scheme involving the community-organizing group ACORN. During the gathering in April, O’Keefe stated he wants to make more videos exposing voter fraud at the polls. “We plan to actually catch non-citizens voting,” O’Keefe said.
Opponents of Voter Identification
Those against the voter identification law feel that voter fraud is not a real issue, saying that proven examples of voter fraud are hard to come by. The law would also disproportionately prevent racial minorities from voting. According to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, registered minority voters are 20 percent more likely than white registered voters not to have a Department of Motor Vehicles issued photo ID. The law could prevent low-income and homeless people from voting.
Rep. Sellers, appearing in opposition to the law, said, “There is nothing on the record that indicates voter impersonation is a problem.” He says 100,000 registered voters will be disenfranchised if the law goes into effect.
“We fought for decades for equality and civil justice,” said Sellers. “This is shameful.”
South Carolina Lawyers
The Strom Law Firm represents individuals in South Carolina involved in complex civil litigation and criminal cases. If you have legal question that needs answering, call the Strom Law Firm today. We offer free confidential consultations. 803.252.4800.