South Carolina efforts to ban texting while driving, legalize charity raffles, and yank driving privileges from teen dropouts are among bills that died Thursday as the regular legislative session ended.
But legislators tentatively agreed in the waning hours on a bill that would require voters to show a photo ID at the polls, and allow for early voting. The compromise approved by a conference committee would create an eight-day window, from Saturday to Saturday, for voters to cast ballots early without needing an excuse for why they can't vote on Election Day. It continues to allow in-person absentee voting up to a month early with an excuse, but only on paper ballots.
The changes would take effect in 2012.
"Overall, it's a good compromise. I'm still not a fan of early voting. I believe in Election Day voting," said Speaker Pro Tem Harry Cato, R-Travelers Rest, who had insisted that the early voting provision be eliminated. "With voter ID, it will make it a lot easier for poll workers to determine people are casting a legal ballot."
Residents 17 and older who don't have a driver's license could get a free photo ID card.