(Image source: Office of the SC Governor)

 

BY CHRISTINA HARTMAN

 


The federal government hasn’t rejected a voter ID law in almost two decades.

But that’s exactly what happened to one passed by South Carolina’s GOP-led legislature.

The state’s Governor Nikki Haley signed the legislation into law in May. Here’s how she described it.

GOV. NIKKI HALEY (R-SC): “We are gonna make sure we maintain the integrity of the election system. And we’re gonna do it by saying, if you can show a picture to buy pseudofed, if you can show a picture to get on an airplane, you should be able to show a picture to make sure that we do what is incredibly inherent in our freedoms, and that is the ability to vote.”

Fast forward a little more than seven months -- and the Justice Department isn’t so impressed. KTVU reports.

“The federal government is objecting to a new South Carolina voter identification law. The justice department claims it discriminates against minorities in violation of the Voting Rights Act. The law requires voters to present an I.D.. South Carolina says it reduces voter fraud. But the DoJ says laws currently in place already provide enough of a deterrent.”

By blocking implementation of the law, the DoJ effectively put the brakes on the legislation.

Governor Haley, clearly not a fan of the move, took to Facebook to call the DoJ decision “outrageous,” and vowed to fight it in the interest of combating voter fraud.

So - let’s take a look at both sides of the argument. Under the law voters would have had to show workers at polling stations a state-approved form of photo ID. Critics say that places too much of a burden on minorities. MSNBC’s Alex Witt ticks off the statistics.

“Who doesn't have the proper ID? One in four African-Americans. One in five Asian-Americans and Hispanics, nearly 1 in 5 Americans aged 18-24, 15% of Americans who make less than $35,000 a year.”

But Fox News reports - the law would also have made getting an ID free of charge for those voters that didn’t have one. Which is why American Thinker’s Rick Moran says he sides with Governor Haley in calling the ruling outrageous.

“How can a voter be ‘disenfranchised’ if the state is willing to give the voter the required ID free of charge? What the government is saying to minority voters by rejecting this ID law is that they are incapable of acting like adults and must be treated like children. How much of an extra ‘burden’ is it to visit a government office to pick up a free ID?”

Why does the Justice Department even get to weigh in on a state voter ID law? Well, South Carolina is recognized by the federal government as having a history of voter discrimination, so if the state wants to change its laws it has to get clearance.

Another state with similar requirements -- Texas. And media outlets there -- like Houston’s KTRK -- wonder if that means the Lone Star State is next.

“A decision on a voter ID Law in South Carolina could be a preview of a similar law discussed in Texas. The department of justice rejected South Carolina's new law which requires a state-issued photo I.D. voter registration. … The Texas state legislature passed a similar law facing some of the same criticism.”

In a speech earlier this month Attorney General Eric Holder said he doesn’t believe voter fraud is as widespread as critics suggest. A survey by the Republican National Lawyers Association lists one case of election, and no cases of voter fraud in the last decade in South Carolina.

 

 

SC Voter ID Rejected: Is Texas Next?

by Christina Hartman
0
Transcript
Dec 26, 2011

SC Voter ID Rejected: Is Texas Next?

(Image source: Office of the SC Governor)

 

BY CHRISTINA HARTMAN

 


The federal government hasn’t rejected a voter ID law in almost two decades.

But that’s exactly what happened to one passed by South Carolina’s GOP-led legislature.

The state’s Governor Nikki Haley signed the legislation into law in May. Here’s how she described it.

GOV. NIKKI HALEY (R-SC): “We are gonna make sure we maintain the integrity of the election system. And we’re gonna do it by saying, if you can show a picture to buy pseudofed, if you can show a picture to get on an airplane, you should be able to show a picture to make sure that we do what is incredibly inherent in our freedoms, and that is the ability to vote.”

Fast forward a little more than seven months -- and the Justice Department isn’t so impressed. KTVU reports.

“The federal government is objecting to a new South Carolina voter identification law. The justice department claims it discriminates against minorities in violation of the Voting Rights Act. The law requires voters to present an I.D.. South Carolina says it reduces voter fraud. But the DoJ says laws currently in place already provide enough of a deterrent.”

By blocking implementation of the law, the DoJ effectively put the brakes on the legislation.

Governor Haley, clearly not a fan of the move, took to Facebook to call the DoJ decision “outrageous,” and vowed to fight it in the interest of combating voter fraud.

So - let’s take a look at both sides of the argument. Under the law voters would have had to show workers at polling stations a state-approved form of photo ID. Critics say that places too much of a burden on minorities. MSNBC’s Alex Witt ticks off the statistics.

“Who doesn't have the proper ID? One in four African-Americans. One in five Asian-Americans and Hispanics, nearly 1 in 5 Americans aged 18-24, 15% of Americans who make less than $35,000 a year.”

But Fox News reports - the law would also have made getting an ID free of charge for those voters that didn’t have one. Which is why American Thinker’s Rick Moran says he sides with Governor Haley in calling the ruling outrageous.

“How can a voter be ‘disenfranchised’ if the state is willing to give the voter the required ID free of charge? What the government is saying to minority voters by rejecting this ID law is that they are incapable of acting like adults and must be treated like children. How much of an extra ‘burden’ is it to visit a government office to pick up a free ID?”

Why does the Justice Department even get to weigh in on a state voter ID law? Well, South Carolina is recognized by the federal government as having a history of voter discrimination, so if the state wants to change its laws it has to get clearance.

Another state with similar requirements -- Texas. And media outlets there -- like Houston’s KTRK -- wonder if that means the Lone Star State is next.

“A decision on a voter ID Law in South Carolina could be a preview of a similar law discussed in Texas. The department of justice rejected South Carolina's new law which requires a state-issued photo I.D. voter registration. … The Texas state legislature passed a similar law facing some of the same criticism.”

In a speech earlier this month Attorney General Eric Holder said he doesn’t believe voter fraud is as widespread as critics suggest. A survey by the Republican National Lawyers Association lists one case of election, and no cases of voter fraud in the last decade in South Carolina.

 

 

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