SC Voter ID Law Rejected By Justice Department
AP | 12/29/2011, 1:43 p.m.
The number of active and inactive voters that should be used to determine how many people would be affected by the law has been in dispute. Department of Motor Vehicles executive director Kevin Shwedo said the state Election Commission knew it was using inaccurate data when it released reports showing nearly 240,000 active and inactive voters lacked driver's licenses or ID cards.
Shwedo sent the state's attorney general an analysis showing that 207,000 of those voters live in other states, allowed their ID cards to expire, probably have licenses with names that didn't match voter records or were dead. He said the commission created "artificially high numbers to excite the masses."
Earlier in the week, commission officials said the agency will eliminate nearly 60,000 deceased people and individuals whose names didn't match DMV records.
Haley said the decision was more proof President Barack Obama is fighting conservative ideas like voter ID laws or immigration reform.
"The president and his bullish administration are fighting us every step of the way. It is outrageous, and we plan to look at every possible option to get this terrible, clearly political decision overturned so we can protect the integrity of our electoral process and our 10th amendment rights," Haley said in a statement.
South Carolina ACLU executive director Victoria Middleton applauded the Justice Department's decision, saying the "misguided" law represented "a dramatic setback to voting rights in our state and we are pleased to see it stopped in its tracks."
The decision also was welcomed by civil rights activist Jesse Jackson, who planned to talk about how voter ID laws are an effort by conservatives to keep blacks from voting in his hometown of Greenville, S.C., next week. He said the laws are like modern day poll taxes, targeting elderly people that can't afford to get IDs and students.
"We're fighting wars for democracy overseas and we're fighting democracy at home," Jackson said. "What a contradiction."