South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley(R) has a unique solution to the problem she created by signing a law in May that will require voters to present a government-issued photo ID at the polls — she will personally drive you to the DMV. As with any voter ID requirement, Haley’s law could have the effect of suppressing the vote of thousands of people who don’t currently have South Carolina IDs, especially minorities, college students, rural voters, and the elderly. For these people, it is often difficult or impossible to travel to the DMV to obtain a license, so many wind up not being able to cast a ballot come Election Day.
But Haley isn’t worried because she has a plan. “Find me those people that think that this is invading their rights,” she told a local Fox affiliate, “And I will go take them to the DMV myself and help them get that picture ID.” Watch it:
So, assuming Haley’s offer is genuine, how many rides will the governor be giving? South Carolina’s election commission estimates that 178,000 of the state’s voters lack the ID necessary to allow them to exercise their right to vote. Google Maps estimates that it will take 11 minutes for Nikki Haley to drive from the governor’s mansion to the nearest branch of the state DMV:
That DMV branch is open five days a week for 8.5 hours a day. Assuming Haley wants to save some time and gas, we’ll assume that her car can fit four passengers. That means that if every single one of these 178,000 voters were to present themselves to the governor’s mansion and request the free ride Haley just offered them, it would take just over 7 years, 4 months, 3 weeks and 5 days if she spends every single minute that the DMV is open doing nothing but playing taxi driver. That’s nearly two full terms — assuming there’s no traffic.
A simpler solution: Don’t jeopardize peoples’ right to vote in the first place.