The Hill: Democrats challenge South Carolina law requiring voters to disclose Social Security numbers

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Democratic groups filed a lawsuit challenging a South Carolina requirement that voters in the state provide their Social Security numbers, marking the party’s latest challenge to election laws and regulations in battleground states ahead of 2020. 

The groups argue that the law turns potential voters away from the ballot box due to what they say is a risk of identity theft and an intrusion on their privacy. 

“Voters shouldn’t have to choose between protecting their privacy and participating in our democracy,” Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (Nev.), the chairwoman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, said in a statement.ADVERTISEMENT

Jaime Harrison, who is challenging South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham (R), called the lawsuit “a strong step” in the fight to protect voting rights in the state.

“This unconstitutional requirement has forced almost one million eligible South Carolina voters, including over 400,000 people of color, from being able to register in the state. The people of South Carolina deserve better from their leaders,” Harrison said in a statement.

South Carolina is one of five states that require voters to provide their Social Security numbers.

The Hill has reached out to the groups’ Republican counterparts for comment.

The move is the latest in a series of Democratic challenges against election laws in emerging battleground states.

Democrats have already filed lawsuits in Georgia, Texas, Michigan, North Carolina and Arizona.

The groups argue that the laws have a negative and disproportionate impact on young and minority voters, which could prove detrimental to Democrats in 2020.

The lawsuits in Georgia, Texas and Arizona revolve around listing Republican candidates first on the ballot in any given race, which social science researchers say could benefit the candidate listed first on the ballot.

Meanwhile, in North Carolina, Democrats have sued to reinstate a final day of early voting on the Saturday before an election.

Republicans argue that the laws are intended to make elections more secure and work to prevent voter fraud.

However, Democrats say the challenges are necessary because the Department of Justice has not taken action to challenge state election rules.

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