You know who is having a bad week? South Carolina Election Commission Executive Director Marci Andino. And it’s not even her fault. She is not responsible for the restrictive voter identification law Republicans enacted in 2011, a discriminatory measure the Justice Department promptly blocked under the Voting Rights Act. She’s not responsible for the policy behind the law, which is to burden poor people, minorities, and students in the name of halting voter fraud no one in the state can identify or prove.
Andino is not responsible for the lack of training for local officials who are supposed to oversee the new rules, because there are few such rules — not yet, not even with just two months to go before the election. (South Carolina officials seem to have frozen the process of preparing for the new rules once the Feds interceded last December, the idea evidently being that it makes no sense to spend money preparing to implement a new law that may never see the light of day.)
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And she’s not responsible for the lack of resources available to re-register voters with new IDs — there is today only one bus, in the whole state, devoted to traveling around to re-register voters. It’s not her fault. None of it. And yet she had to testify this week, in federal court in Washington, in defense of the law. Her testimony on Tuesday and Wednesday bordered on the absurd at times. Not because Andino is a poor witness, not because she’s a zealot, but for precisely the opposite reason.