On June 29, the Department of Justice for the second time declined to approve South Carolina’s voter ID law, HB 3003, originally sponsored by ALEC member Alan Clemmons. State Attorney General Alan Wilson sued the federal government after DOJ first rejected the law last year. The trial has been set for September 24. With that late date, the law is unlikely to be in effect by November.
A new Brennan Center report details the extreme lengths to which HB 3003 would force many South Carolinians to go to in order to get required ID. Nearly 275,000 — 8 percent of eligible voters— live 10 miles or more from an ID office that is open more than two days per week. Of these, 7,000 do not have access to cars. Minorities are particularly hard hit, as they are less likely to already have an ID acceptable under these laws and more likely to live far away from an ID office.
The League of Women Voters of South Carolina, represented by the Brennan Center and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, has filed a motion to intervene in the Justice Department’s suit against South Carolina.
It is wrong to pass laws that block some Americans from voting, and to deny them the opportunity to participate equally in our democracy. We are glad the Justice Department stepped in to reject this law, and we urge the federal court to do the same at trial.
For more information, check out The Right to Vote under Attack: The Campaign to Keep Millions of Americans from the Ballot Box, a Right Wing Watch: In Focus report by PFAW Foundation.