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Clyburn: Combat Voter ID Law by Organizing

Voter ID opponents plan to prepare now for the possibility the courts will allow the law to stand

U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) told Democratic activists in the Charleston area on Tuesday that organization was the key to limiting the effects of "voter supression" efforts under way through Voter ID laws.

Clyburn told local Democrats to approach the election as if South Carolina's Voter ID law, currently winding its way through the court system after the justice department raised concerns, was already in place.

The congressman said Republicans hoped that, by putting Voter ID laws in place in nine states, a national election can be swayed by lowering turnout by 1 percent in each state.

"I know nothing has changed yet," he said. "But I just do not trust the judiciary that we're operating under."

Tuesday's gathering, held at the International Longshoremen's Association Hall on Morrison Drive, was held to strategize for the November elections.

While the U.S. Department of Justice rejected South Carolina's Voter ID law before it took effect, the state appealed and the case has been expedited with a decision expected in September.

Clyburn appeared as a guest speaker ahead of a panel discussion on the law's potential effects and methods to limit the number of people that will be affected by it.

required by the law, and it found that non-white voters are 20 percent more likely to lack a state issued photo ID.

The pannel included Rev. Joseph Darby, pastor of Morris Brown A.M.E. Church; state Rep. David Mack; Susan Dunn, legal director of Charleston’s ACLU; Dorothy Scott, chair of the Charleston County NAACP; and Julie Hussey, president of the League of Women Voters’ Charleston chapter.

The message from all the pannelists was to get organized now.

"We all need to be concerned about the right to vote," Dunn said. "We need to be out there registering people, everybody in your church, everybody in your book club, everybody you go grocery shopping with; get them registered, because there have been no changes to the requirements for registration."

Dunn added that there will be a lot of scrambling in September when the case is decided, and it is better to prepare now under the assumption the court will uphold the law than to try to play catch up later if it does.

Darby said his church is working with other area churches to hold voter registration drives and to get people to the polls on election day.

"The truth will make you free," Darby said. "And the truth is South Carolina needs laws to prevent voter fraud like an Eskimo needs a bikini. You don't fix what's not broken."

"Democracy is not a spectator sport," Hussey said. "The assault on voting rights won't stop at the ID."

Here are today's other top political headlines from Patch:

stanley seigler May 09, 2012 at 03:31 PM
@luanneshirley: "My stars!(1) Show me this massive voter fraud, because I missed that headline" as you/all (including the voterID supporters) know there is NO voter fraud...this IS a kochbro/T-GOP tactic to suppress BO/DEM voters... in their desire to win at all moral cost and supported by the BO haters...GOPs have sold their souls to the kochbro/etal...want to take america back for the koch-etals (ie, for the greedy bastards)... FYI: "Funded largely by the libertarian Koch brothers, ALEC creates model legislation for state legislatures to adopt, such as Voter ID laws and other controversial bills like the Stand Your Ground self-defense law" http://summerville.patch.com/articles/s-c-democrats-target-alec
luanneshirley May 09, 2012 at 04:12 PM
Mr. Seigler, you didn't mention that ALEC is specifically exempt in SC from lobby transparency laws. That pretty much ensures corruption. Unless people stop voting against their own interests, nothing will change.
stanley seigler May 09, 2012 at 05:35 PM
@luanneshirley: "...Unless people stop voting against their own interests, nothing will change." "voting against their own interests" is so puzzling...many in the 99% must believe they are part of the 1% or; that the 1% is really concerned with the 99%'s interest/welfare...ie, the general welfare...the common good...it will not trickle down...GOP-voodoo economic policies resulted in 1929 and 2008 debacles... "nothing will change"...'hope spring eternal'...and it seems the pendulum is slowly swinging to center left...sad so many (the least) are hurt while it swings slowly...
king_ummbarrii May 15, 2012 at 10:38 PM
James Clyburn is a elected public servant. He said himself that 70 or 80 percent of the people want a voter ID. yet he neglects the will of the people that he was elected to serve. He needs to be fired from his job because of this. This is dereliction of duty.
William Steve Brodie May 16, 2012 at 11:21 AM
King_ummbarrii, what about all of the Republicans that want to cut Social Security and Medicare when poll after poll shows that a large majority of the country not only wants it, but wants it strengthened? Those Republicans ignore the will of the people constantly and they don't stop there. They also use their power to obstruct other issues like the move by Democrats to stop the increase to student loan interest rates, even though almost everyone doesn't want the rates to increase. Talk about dereliction of duty.

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