Court panel OKs SC voter ID law for 2013

This happened about the time I was going to lunch today:

A federal court in Washington, D.C., has upheld the constitutionality of South Carolina’s new voter ID law.

However, the law — which requires voters to present a state-approved ID with their picture at the polls before casting a ballot — will not take effect until 2013, meaning it will not affect S.C. voters during the November presidential election.

The U.S. Justice Department had blocked implementation of the new law, passed in 2011. Civil rights groups also had challenged the law, saying it unfairly discriminated against minority voters, who were less likely to have access to the records or state facilities necessary to get a photo ID.

However, a three-member federal panel ruled Wednesday that the law’s “expansive ‘reasonable impediment’ provision” made it unlikely that any voters lacking a photo ID would be turned away at the polls. Those voters still can vote “so long as they state the reason for not having obtained” a photo ID, the ruling noted.

That was followed in the report by some silly comments from Nikki Haley about the mean ol’ federal gummint trying to do awful things to South Carolina. (“Every time the federal government has thrown us a punch, we have fought back.”) Because you know that’s what this is about, right? The feds just picking on us for no reason.

The same mean ol’ federal government that wouldn’t let us keep our slaves anymore…

Excuse my disgust. Mind you, as I’ve said many times before, I think this is generally an issue blown out of proportion by both sides. But when I see the way the governor couches it, it’s pretty off-putting.

20 thoughts on “Court panel OKs SC voter ID law for 2013

  1. Andrew

    I was reading an article the other day about SC politics in the early 30’s.

    The support for Roosevelt was massive. I think like over 80% of SC voters voted for him in ’32 and over 98% of SC voters went for FDR in ’36.

    In Greenville in ’33, on Roosevelt’s inauguration day, of course in the days before TV and when it would be days before the theaters got a news real, they had a crowd of over 10K on Main Street, watching actors live perform the inauguration – accompanying the radio broad cast from Washington (since most folks didn’t own radios).

    Later, in the run up to the ’38 Senate election, Roosevelt personally campaigned for Olin Johnston, against incumbent Ellison Smith (whose campaign slogan was “keep the Negroes down and the price of cotton up.”)

    While SC voters loved Roosevelt, more than any President in history, they greatly resented his interference in the ’34 Dem primary, and returned Smith to office, where he worked against many New Deal programs (that were largely favored by SC voters).

    What I take from that is the cultural stubbornness of the state’s voters. You may like warm, sunny days, and I may like warm, sunny days, but if you are from Washington and say you like it, then the SC voter will oppose you.

  2. Patricia Finley

    I agree with you 100%. I don’t know who Nikki Haley thinks she is – the Supreme Court of the USA is NOT afraid of her. She thinks this is a Nikki Haley win. She is wrong – this is a loss for the state of SC.

  3. bud

    I think this is generally an issue blown out of proportion by both sides. But when I see the way the governor couches it, it’s pretty off-putting.

    Brad, your comment here is what’s offputting. You’re upset with the governor because she’s making a political dig at the Federal Government. What should bother you is this whole ongoing attempt by Republicans across the country to disenfranchise voters who are likely to vote for Democrats. That’s 1000 times more important that some comments by the government. Same old form over substance view of the world. Offputting indeed.

  4. Brad

    No, Bud, you’ve got it wrong.

    A South Carolina politician defining herself in terms of her defiance of the federal government, especially on an issue that (at least, according to the plaintiffs) is a civil rights issue, is about as far as you can get from “form over substance.” It is the most critically importance sort of substance in South Carolina history. It’s the attitude that dragged us down into the mire, and has kept us there.

    I couldn’t care less who votes for Democrats and who votes for Republicans. I DO care about South Carolina continuing to march down the road that led us to secession.

  5. Brad

    And thanks for sharing your thoughtful observations there, Andrew. But allow me to offer an amendment to this part: “You may like warm, sunny days, and I may like warm, sunny days, but if you are from Washington and say you like it, then the SC voter will oppose you.”

    I’d put it more this way:

    “You may like warm, sunny days, and I may like warm, sunny days, but if you are from Washington and you try to MAKE me like them, then the SC voter will oppose you.”

  6. Steven Davis II

    No picture ID, no get to vote.

    It’s a shame it isn’t the same for applying for welfare.

  7. Patricia Finley

    Well Steven – If you want to show that – let me show you the person in Florida that works for the clerk of courts office that will ask you if you are going to vote for Romney and only then will she allow you to register to vote.

  8. Kathy

    Good old Pitchfork Nikki. I don’t have a problem with voters being required to have a photo ID. But we can always depend on Pitchfork Nikki to demagogue every issue.

  9. Steven Davis II

    Why nothing on SC Rep. Trey Gowdy doing us proud today? Can this Obama administration get any more incompetent? It’s funny how the MSM is tight lipped on this hoping if ignored it’ll go away.

  10. bud

    Come on Brad, you hang on every word uttered by our governor. It’s become rather silly. It’s clearly form over substance.

    Personally I don’t give a rats behind what she says. She’s a moron. What I DO care about is what she and her whacky tea party cronies do, particularly the laws they get passed and the manipulation of the system to get around the intent of the general assembly. And what they’ve done with voter id laws is turn back the clock to a time when it was ok to keep minorities from voting. Let’s keep this in perspective. Words may matter but deeds are 1000 times more important.

  11. Brad

    Only words, that’s all. Tell that to Thomas More. (Actually, if Wolf Hall, which I just finished reading, is accurate, Thomas Cromwell tried to do just that.)

  12. Steven Davis II

    @Patricia – I’m waiting, show me otherwise it’s just a nice story to add to the conversation.

    If it were true, wouldn’t Obama voters be smart enough to lie to her?

  13. Bryan Caskey

    Just getting around to this. I’ve been swamped at work and I’ve been doing important things like dealing with college football.

    In any event, has anyone here actually read the text of the opinion? It doesn’t sound like it. Even under this law, you still don’t need a photo ID to vote. You simply sign an affidavit that you have a “reasonable impediment” to obtaining one, and you get to cast a provisional ballot.

    Your vote is counted and can only be challenged based on the falseness of your affidavit, not the reasonableness of it. The law is actually really reasonable. Legitimate problems obtaining ID will not obstruct voting.

  14. Kathryn Fenner

    Yup, Bryan, the officials gutted the law with their enforcement policies, so I have little issue with it as promised to be enforced. I still question why the need, and expense or all this. We need better voting machines. That would actually ensure a more honest election!

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