Voter ID Law causes confusion for primary

Conway residents Polly Derrick and her husband vote early and vote often.

"We're excited about voting, and we've been excited about voting all our lives," said Derrick.

She's one of the hundreds of people stopping by the Horry County Voter Registration and Elections office in Conway to absentee vote, and during her registration, she corrected her husband when he thought he needed a photo ID.

"I knew the law hadn't passed yet. So I knew all they wanted was my voter registration."

The law that Derrick's husband thought had passed is South Carolina's Voter ID Bill. Lawmakers passed the law requiring photo identification when casting a vote.

But in December, the Department of Justice blocked the law, saying it violated the Civil Right's Voting Act. Changes to South Carolina election laws must be approved by the federal government because of the state's history of disenfranchising minorities.

"The Department of Justice basically froze that voter ID law. So it's not been enacted even though the Governor signed it," said SC GOP Chair Chad Connelly.

In the 2008 First in the South primary, 20 percent of South Carolina registered voters cast their ballots for the republican primary, said Connelly.

If you voted in that election, the requirements to vote in this election have not changed, said Horry County Voter Registration and Election Director Sandy Martin.

"Voters will still have to show either their voter registration card, their driver's licence or an ID issued by the highway department," said Martin.

By Wednesday morning, more than 1100 Horry County registered voters had cast their absentee ballots, said Martin.

The deadline to submit an absentee ballot is 5 p.m. Friday.