The U.S. Department of Justice will block the voter ID provisions of an election law passed in South Carolina earlier this year because the state’s own statistics demonstrated that the photo identification requirement would have a much greater impact on non-white residents, DOJ said in a letter to the state on Friday.
Officials in DOJ’s Civil Rights Division found a significant racial disparity in the data provided by South Carolina, which must have changes to its election laws precleared under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, because of past history of discrimination. The data demonstrated that registered non-white voters were 20 percent more likely than white voters to lack the specific type of photo identification required to exercise their constitutional rights, according to a letter sent to South Carolina and obtained by TPM.
Perez wrote that the number of minority citizens whose exercise of the francise could be adversely affected by the proposed requirements “runs in the tens of thousands.” He wrote that the state had “failed entirely to address the disparity between the proportions of white and non-white registered voters who lack DMV-issued identification.”
“data provided by South Carolina”
“the state’s own statistics”
The governor of South Carolina and the conservatives in the state legislature are (apparently) absolutely clueless about the people who live in South Carolina. Conservative leaders might want to get out more. Fewer think-tank funded roundtables and appearances with Fox News personalities, more hands-on work.
It was – assuming good faith – news to Haley and South Carolina conservative representatives that certain parts of South Carolina are poor and rural. They didn’t even have to read the information they submitted to the DOJ. They could have asked this guy:
But having no birth certificate, or having one where the name conflicts with other legal documents, can cause problems today proving one’s identification — and getting the photo ID required to get a job, travel, go into public buildings and, in a recent and controversial change in South Carolina, register to vote.
In some cases, people who have never had a problem before must now go to family court to authenticate the names they have used all their lives.
Joseph Williams, a physician who sees mostly elderly patients in Sumter, guessed as many as 20 percent of his 3,000 to 4,000 regular patients have problems with identification. Some only know the year they were born.
“It’s extremely common for people who are over 50,” said Williams, who is 60. “Record-keeping was poor in our age group.”
Wouldn’t it be great to be a conservative and live your life entirely removed from the gritty, day to day reality the rest of us have to grapple with? Record keeping was poor in rural South Carolina back in the day. Who knew? Not the governor or the conservatives in the state legislature, apparently. Poor, rural South Carolinians have to appear in family court before they may vote? No burden there!
“The President and his bullish administration are fighting us every step of the way,” Haley wrote. “It is outrageous, and we plan to look at every possible option to get this clearly political decision overturned so we can protect the integrity of our electoral process and our 10th amendment rights.”
Wow. “Our Tenth Amendment rights”?
Can someone ask Governor Haley why she believes “our Tenth Amendment rights” trump federal civil rights legislation that was reauthorized by a huge Congressional majority as recently as 2006? Can someone ask Governor Haley if she knows that former President Reagan said this when he signed the 1982 reauthorization of the portions of the Voting Rights Act that she objects to on “states’ rights” grounds?
On signing the 1982 extension of the Act, which passed the House by a vote of 389 to 24 and the Senate by a vote of 95-9, President Reagan called the right to vote the ‘crown jewel of American liberties.’
What happened? We went from the “crown jewel of American liberties” when Reagan was smiling for the cameras to a Facebook post babbling something about the Tenth Amendment?