Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- Lawmakers says a tug-of-war between bills in the Senate is standing in the way of early voting.

Senators on of both sides of the aisle have called for changes to make true early voting a reality in South Carolina, but the senate bill could face some setbacks if nothing happens soon.

If early voting does not pass Tuesday, another piece of legislation will take the front seat, pushing the bill back on the calendar.

"I thought we had it very close to being resolved, every close, but it just fell apart," said Senate President John Courson.

The last few days in session senators have struggled to advance the bill that would allow South Carolinians to head to the polls and cast their ballots early, but failed deals have stalled that process.

"Early voting is on the contested calendar first, nullification is second. We thought we had a deal to go ahead and get early voting and then come back and do nullification, but they changed the deal on us," said Sen. John Scott, a Richland County Democrat.

Democrats say a Republican sponsored nullification bill is standing in the way of early voting.

The bill in question would allow South Carolina agencies and employees to not participate if the federal government tried to deny a citizen their civil rights by detaining them without a trial.

Beaufort County Senator Tom Davis says it would protect South Carolinians, but does not agree that his nullification bill is standing in the way of early voting.

"I don't get the sense that it's holding it up, I don't think so," said Davis.

Last week lawmakers tried to place both bills to special order, creating a set date for the bill to be taken up, but both of those attempts failed and the senate ended for the week.

Still no matter what is preventing the bill from advancing, if nothing happens Tuesday, both pieces of legislation will have to take a back seat.

"Wednesday, we've got the Department of Administration bill, that the governor's pushing," said Courson. "We've got to start debating it, and we'll probably be on it for a few days."

Still, Richland County Senators Courson and Scott, who both support early voting, remain confident that it will happen, they just can't say when.

Read or Share this story: