IDville Blog | Justice Department looks to block controversial measure in South Carolina voter ID law

Justice Department looks to block controversial measure in South Carolina voter ID law

by Admin 27. August 2012 14:00

The 2012 Presidential Election is right around the corner and the contention surrounding issues such as voter identification is increasing with each coming day.

Reuters reports that the U.S. Department of Justice had previously issued a challenge to a new voter ID law in South Carolina, and the state is now trying to convince a federal court that the legislation is not discriminatory in nature toward black voters.

The claim by the South Carolina government contrasts with a finding from the DOJ, and this marks the latest attempt by the Obama administration to block laws that require voters to show ID cards or other forms of identification at the polls.

According to the news outlet, Governor Nikki Haley signed the requirement into law in May 2011, but in December of that year the DOJ blocked the legislation from taking effect as it cited a measure from the 1965 Voting Rights Act - the government is allowed to veto voting rule changes in states with a history of racial repression.

While a federal court in Washington, D.C., is mulling the matter over - a three-judge federal court panel began hearing several days of testimony on August 27 - there are numerous other states that have tried to pass similar legislation.

South Carolina's law was the first to be refused federal clearance in nearly 20 years, according to The Associated Press, and the decision may be precedent-setting for other states that tried to pass similar legislation.

However, unless action occurs soon, there is much doubt regarding whether any of these laws will take effect prior to the November 6 general elections.

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