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South Carolina GOP Eyes Citizenship Proof For New Voters

The latest effort to police voting in South Carolina comes after the Justice Department rejected the state's new voter ID law.

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Little Doubt that ALEC Served as Voter ID Model

SB 304 is almost a mirror-image of the ALEC model, greatly strengthening the inference that ALEC served as the source for the outbreak of voter ID bills that swept the country in 2011.

The 2011 voter ID bills clearly had ALEC DNA but spotting it required dissecting the proposals. In most states, the voter ID bills amended sections in an election statute rather than creating new ones. This meant that provisions from the ALEC model had to be shoehorned into an existing piece of legislation, which involved changing language and reordering the ALEC provisions. Finding the ALEC roots required taking the bill apart and putting it back together.

SB 304, though, creates entirely new sections in South Carolina's elections statutes, and no alteration is necessary. This makes the ALEC influence immediately apparent. See the side-by-side of the ALEC model and SB 304 here.

"Illegals" and "Zombie" Voters

In voting against SB 304 / the Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act, Sen. Scott said there is no evidence that non-citizens are voting in South Carolina. The state's Department of Motor Vehicles and Election Commission is reportedly looking into whether any non-citizens have voted.

The Commission's examination comes soon after the head of the Department of Motor Vehicles claimed that more than 950 dead people had voted in South Carolina over the past six years. The claim was repeated on Fox News and other outlets as proof of "voter fraud" (and an example of why the blocked voter ID law was necessary), but fell apart after the Election Commission examined the data. Of the names the department was allowed to examine, all were alive and eligible to vote.

Brendan Fischer is a law fellow at the Center for Media and Democracy, publisher of PR Watch.