Election Commission: no issues with new voter ID law

CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - Lowcountry poll workers had to match up thousands of faces to names today.

The primary election marked the first time the new voter ID law was in effect in our area.  It requires voters to present photo identification at their polling place in order to cast their vote.  Acceptable identification includes a drivers' license, DMV ID, voter registration card with photo, military ID, or passport.

"It's been going really smoothly here in Charleston County and the other directors I've spoken to [say] they're also seeing in their counties, it's been extremely smooth as well," Charleston County Board of Elections Executive Director Joe Debney said.

The poll clerk at the West Ashley Middle School polling place agreed – saying only two people had asked questions about the new requirement.

"I was somewhat surprised because no one has come in without a photo ID and I expected there to be quite a few," Ronnie Spry said.  "It's been working fine.  There's not a problem with it at all."

If a voter does not present a valid photo ID because of a reasonable impediment, they are still able to vote with a provisional ballot.

"Your vote is not lost at all," Debney said.  "You can still cast a provisional ballot and you'll state why you could not obtain that photo identification and then we'll count that ballot."

Reasonable impediments include a religious objection to being photographed and family responsibilities.

If a voter does not have a reasonable impediment, or they simply forgot to bring it, they may still vote a provisional ballot.   However, they must provide one to the county election commission prior to certification of the election on Thursday, according to scvotes.org.

A free photo ID can be obtained at the DMV or the county elections office.

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