Seminars will explain new voter photo ID requirements

  • Posted: Tuesday, January 8, 2013 11:54 p.m.
    UPDATED: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 7:10 a.m.

Aiken County Registration and Elections is holding two public seminars on the new voter photo ID requirements, and the first one is Thursday.

The seminar will be held at 6 p.m. at the Aiken Electric Cooperative, 2790 Wagener Road. The second is Tuesday at 6 p.m. also at the Co-op. The public is encouraged to attend.

The new law, which went into effect Jan. 1, means voters will be asked to show a photo ID at their polling place during elections.

Applicable photo IDs include a S.C. driver’s license, an ID card issued by the S.C. Department of Motor Vehicles, a voter registration card with a photo, federal military ID or a U.S. passport.

“We’re just educating voters to let them know what forms of ID they’ll have to have,” said Cynthia Holland, executive director of Aiken County Registration and Elections.

Holland said the old voter registration cards, those without a photo of the bearer, are no longer permitted as proper identification to vote. A person must have a valid form of identification with a photo.

New voter registration cards include the bearer’s photo and can be processed at the Registration and Elections Office at no cost. The office is located at 916 Vaucluse Road.

In October, a federal court panel ruled in favor of the state’s voter ID law, which had been debated hotly between lawmakers, politicos and community activists for months. The judges declined to let the law take effect immediately; otherwise, it would have impacted the November general election.

If a person does not have a photo ID on election day due to a “reasonable impediment” of obtaining one, they may vote a provisional ballot after showing a non-photo voter registration card.

A reasonable impediment, according to the state Election Commission, includes religious objection to being photographed, lack of birth certificate, disability or illness, work schedule or lack of transportation.

Voter ID laws are in effect in other states, including Indiana, Georgia and Tennessee.

For more information, call Cynthia Holland with Registration and Elections at 642-2028.

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