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SC legislators reach agreement on voter ID bill

Apr 20, 2011 7:49:00 PM - thestate.com
South Carolina voters will need to have photographic identification to vote under a deal reached by a House and Senate conference committee Wednesday.

Three House members signed off on the deal while two of three senators did so. The House and Senate will decide whether to accept the compromise next week and send it to the governor's desk.

Republicans say the bill is about voter integrity. Democrats say it suppresses turnout by minority, disabled and elderly voters who lack a license and they argued educating people on the measure and supplying a free photo ID will be expensive.

Democrats had been willing to go along in exchange for adding a new early voting process in South Carolina. But House Republicans, including state Rep. Alan Clemmons, insisted that the bill be stripped down to requiring photographic identification.

"We will have cleaner elections. We will have solid elections coming out of this clean voter ID bill," said Clemmons, a Myrtle Beach Republican who lead the House negotiators.