• On Wednesday, February 27th, the Supreme Court will review Shelby County, Alabama v.

  •  League Joins Amicus Briefs in Shelby County v. Holder case on Voting Rights Act (VRA)

    Washington, D.C.  – Today, the League of Women Voters of the U.S. announced it has signed onto an amicus brief in the pivotal voting rights case, Shelby County v. Holder.  At issue is whether Congress exceeded its authority under the 15th Amendment to fight racial discrimination in voting by enacting the 2006 amendments to the Voting Right Act (VRA), which were signed into law by President Bush.  Section 5 contains special enforcement provisions covering those areas of the country where Congress demonstrated that significant racial discrimination against voters still continues.

    "The Voting Rights Act is an essential part of American democracy.  The thought that the Supreme Court might overrule Congress and take away voting rights should send a chill down the spine of every American,” said Elisabeth MacNamara, national President of the League of Women Voters.  “Based upon a record of thousands of pages of testimony, Congress knew what it was doing in 2006.  It would be wrong for the Supreme Court to substitute its will for that of our elected representatives in Congress.”

    The League of Women Voters of South Carolina also joined a brief in this case.  That brief provides a strong narrative specific to the State of South Carolina on current threats to voting rights and how Section 5 has helped improve the situation.

    “The VRA ensures that every American has an equal right to vote and has been one of the most important gateways for voter enfranchisement in the modern era, helping to transform American democracy from a restricted, segregated past to one of remarkable inclusion,” according to Barbara Zia, co-president of the League of Women Voters of South Carolina.  “Our democracy still needs the Voting Rights Act.”   

    “The importance of this case simply can’t be overstated,” said MacNamara.  “Without a strong VRA, voting rights are left without vital protections, and we can expect to see states consider a range of restrictions on voting and changes to electoral systems unparalleled since the days of Jim Crow.”

    For more than 90 years, the League has worked to protect every American citizen’s right to vote. The League has long supported the VRA as a fundamental guarantee of the rights of American citizenship and has worked for its reauthorization and enforcement. 

    Contact Kelly Ceballos at kceballos@lwv.org to find out more or to schedule an interview.

  • The League of Women Voters of South Carolina is pleased to share continuing progress from the two-year judicial independence and diversity campaign conducted from 2010-2012

  • As many head back to work and the routine of their daily lives following Hurricane Sandy, some are asking about the impact of this deadly storm on next week’s elections.  We have pulled together a quick primer on what steps elections officials in some of the affected states are taking to help voters.  Overall, we are pleased that many states are extending deadlines in an effort to mitigate the effect of the hurricane and its aftermath on the upcoming election.

  • 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.

  • FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 10, 2012


    CONTACTS:        Barbara Zia (LWV SC)/ 803/251/2726


                              Kelly Ceballos (LWV US)/ 202 263 1331



     Court Decision Based on Expansive Interpretation of Law

     Today, a U.S. Federal District Court blocked implementation of South Carolina’s new voter photo identification law for the November 6th general election, giving South Carolina voters a big victory.  

    The federal three-judge panel approved the law for elections thereafter, but did so under an expansive interpretation of the law.  Specifically, in future elections, voters who do not have a required form of photo ID will still be able to vote so long as they sign an affidavit stating the reason for not having obtained a photo ID.

    “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,” said Elisabeth MacNamara, President of the League of Women Voters of the U.S. (LWVUS).  “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.”

    The League in South Carolina and other states around the country will continue to fight against restrictive voting laws. “We are cautiously optimistic about today’s decision,” stated Barbara Zia, Co-President of the League of Women Voters of South Carolina.  “Voting is the one time all citizens have an equal say in molding our collective future here in South Carolina and across this great country. Barriers such as photo ID threaten that equality.  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,” concluded Zia.

    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 League of Women Voters of Florence celebrated women's suffrage on Women's Equality Day by honoring six female judges currently serving in the Florence County judicial system.