The state is bending over backwards to make sure active-duty military folks' votes get counted, but it seems determined to put up roadblocks for other residents to vote.

As political reporter Yvonne Wenger noted in Friday's paper, a 2009 Pew Center on the States study found that only one-third of the estimated 1 million ballots distributed to military and overseas voters in 2006 were actually cast or counted.

However, South Carolina is not listed among the 25 states that Pew found either don't provide enough time or are at risk of not providing enough time to vote, or only provide enough time to vote if ballots can be returned by fax and email.

Yes, in fact, we were on the right side of the scorecard for once.

So we're fixing a problem that we don't have, while creating a problem for 180,000 people.

Doesn't sound quite right.

But it does sound typical.

Fighting fraud, by fax

A new law, which Gov. Haley will sign Wednesday in Charleston, allows ballots to be sent to military folks via fax or email. And it eliminates a witness requirement for write-in ballots.

Interesting that our leaders don't seem concerned about potential voter fraud among what is likely a largely Republican-leaning group.

This is not Chicago, where voter fraud was a legitimate problem. There's no evidence of voter fraud in any recent South Carolina election, at least according to the State Election Commission. Though the mystery of Alvin Greene's 2010 primary victory may never be solved, it has not been attributed to voter fraud either.

Yes, we should support our military and overseas voters, as retired Rear Adm. James J. Carey said. But shouldn't we provide the same support for our in-state voters?

Suggest absentee voting by email for stateside folks and people will think you sprouted a second head -- or that you were a socialist.

That would involve making it easier to vote, and we're clearly not in the business of doing that.

Jumping through hoops

Just look at the fabulous new Voter ID bill, which makes it more difficult for people to vote, people who never had birth certificates, or don't have driver's licenses.

So, their votes aren't as important?

If the Department of Justice signs off, you'll have to have a photo ID at the polls. The NAACP, the ACLU, the S.C. Progressive Network and the League of Women Voters have all expressed concern about the Voter ID bill. Leaders have heard from residents at forums throughout the state, white and black voters who can vote now and won't be able to under the new Voter ID bill.

But there's no hue and cry from the state government about this, only the assertion that we're somehow now protecting the integrity of the process.

Everybody's vote should count.

Right now it looks like some votes are more important than others.

Reach Digital Editor Melanie Balog at 937-5565.