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This week, the League of Women Voters of South Carolina stood with allies to oppose a bill seeking to impose new requirements on independent groups that register voters. The proposal is strikingly similar to a Florida elections law passed last year that, among other things, placed onerous restrictions on voter registration efforts, and led the League of Women Voters to stop registration activities in Florida. Recent research has indicated that the Florida law has already dampened voter registration rates in the state. Barbara Zia, president of the South Carolina League of Women Voters, said the League opposes both bills and is particularly concerned about new rules for voter registration drives in South Carolina, which include fines of up to $1,000 for groups: "It's going to make it difficult or virtually impossible for the League of Women Voters to continue to register voters in South Carolina," she said. "The effect would be to suppress the vote."
Opponents of South Carolina's proposal argue that, if passed, this measure will negatively impact community-based voter registration drives, which particularly help the elderly, disabled, youth and low-income voters register to vote. The South Carolina ACLU notes that, in 2010, black voters in South Carolina were four times more likely to register to vote through voter registration drives than white voters.
Is this attack on independent voter registration drives spreading to your state?