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Today, South Carolina voters were the victorious when a U.S. Federal District Court blocked implementation of the state’s new voter photo identification law for the November 6th general election.
Of the decision, which was based on an expansive interpretation of the law, national League President Elisabeth MacNamara commented:
“We are pleased that this court has applied common sense and blocked the state of South Carolina from requiring photo ID from all eligible voters on November 6th. We believe it would have caused too much confusion at the polls for voters and poll workers alike. She continuesd, “in addition, the court has interpreted the law in such a way that voters will not absolutely be required to show a photo ID in order to vote in later elections, in 2013 and beyond. This is a victory for voting rights.”
Originally, the Department of Justice (DOJ) denied preclearance to South Carolina’s restrictive photo voter ID law. The League of Women Voters of South Carolina (LWVSC) joined the lawsuit in support of the DOJ decision.
The South Carolina League and Leagues around the country will continue to fight against restrictive voting laws. As Barbara Zia, co-president of the League of Women Voters of South Carolina noted:
"We are cautiously optimistic about today’s decision. ... We will work to ensure that the law is applied fairly and let voters know that a photo ID is not required in 2012. ... Politicians should not be allowed to manipulate election laws for their own personal gain. It is time for us to move beyond the rhetoric and work to pass laws that will ensure that everyone who is eligible to vote can vote and will have their vote counted without any barriers. Nothing less than protecting America’s great democracy is at stake."
Read the full press release.