SC Democrat's Objection to Voter ID Law

Letter from South Carolina Democratic legislators formally objecting to a newly signed voter identification law.
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Heen COMITTES: AKG  INUR JY O AND YL RP IO edatel ollowng the nauguaton o Pedent aak Oaa n Janua 200 thpulan leadehp n South Caolna deded to puh o new etton on npeon otng popel egteed ote.The 2008 geneal eleton wa hto eaue t wa the telton n whh anean ote n South Caolna oted n geate popoton thanwhte oteThe 2008 geneal eleton alo had long lne o n-peon otng n SouthColna.  mpare 2008 Repuan egsate prorts httwwhousos no Photo Dmetoned) wth the nta ntroduton o a Voter ID  and he Repuan prorts ater the 2008gra eeon hwwsahousonw h? 348&sson=  348ntrdud or th rst tm o Fe 3 2009) & httwwhuo20 Photo ID padth u)  Turnout y ra as a perentage o regstred oter  ra hows that the 200 genra eton  th reent statewde turnout o a greater proporton oters y ra ddd y regstrd otr y ra AranAran oters n South Carona than whte otr ompar httwwwotorstonRortston ort 200d at 238 (Whte otrs a aprentage o wht rgstred oters n 2008 genera eeton was 3 and AranAmeran as a pertage o Aran-Aeran regsterd oter was 8.83%) wth httwwsotsenReorts ert 204d 4 Whte oters a a prntago whe regserd otrs n 2004 genera eeton wa 723 % and ranAmeran otrs a aprntage o Aran-Aeran regstered oters was 693%) and hwwtsotonRseto Rr 200d 40 Wh oers a a perna o whiteregistered voters in 2006geeral eectionwas 48.1 %, and African-American voter as a peretage o Ara-Ameran regstered oters was 3942%) See aso   I response to this increased voter partic T ation by African Americans and the well knownraially polarized voting in South Carolina the overwhelmingly white Republican leadership inte eneral Assembl / pused and passed a bill requiring in-person voters not only have to showa valid and crrent photo identication but also have their face compared to the photo everytie they vote in person.Te bencmark for inperson voting is a valid form of identification and a comparison of sinatures only The signature comparison can be done using a non-picture identification, such ast voters registration cardand te voters signature on te poll listThe new burdens onvters rther restricts the acceptable forms of identification and requires one o a very limitednber of government-issued forms of photo identification and the comparison of not only tesinatures but also te voters ace to te picture on te poto identication ese burdens incontext and under the circumstances, both ave the purpose and will have the efect o abridgingh voting rights of racial minorities in South Carolina These changes unnecessarily burden teundamental voting rights o minority groups. Te new oter ID lw n South roln  the mot retrctve hoto dentcton lw o ny tte n the country8becue o the hghly retrcted orm o ccetble dentcton,the unnecery ddtonl reurement o every dentcton beng vld nd current, thereful to extend bentee votng to everyone, nd the lure to reerve or rovde  l htcvotorilElctonRportElction Rport 1997 1998pd at 31 1998 nrallction)  S httpouthcarolinaradiontorkcom20100219camakrputtinarlyvotingndrthmicrocopaudio Th hioriall lar uou o vor or Eltion Da 2008 rultd in lonlin and lon dla at man prcinct acro South Carolina Bor that Elction Da, a numbr o count votr ritration oic, pciall in th mtropolitan ara, r ampd ith lon lin o pron kin to tak advanta o inpron abn von  Inad o ampin to a thburdn o lon lin and dla or inpron voin ih an arl votn priod th at Rpublianladr pad th n otr ID la hich ill mak it mor diicult and tak lonr or proprlritrd lctor to vot, ithout an arl votin or othr mitiation or proprl ritrd lctor - Collton Count v McConnll201 F. Supp2d 618, 6404 22 (Th hitor o raciall polardvotin n South Carolina i lon and ll documntd  otin in oth Carolina continu to braciall polarid to a vr hih drin all rion o th tat and in both primar lction andnral lction Statid, black citin nrall ar a hihl politicall cohiv roup and hitna in iniicant hitbloc votin Indd, thi act i not rioul in diput  5 2010 S Lilativ Manal hoin thntat rprntativ Tim cott a th onl AricanAmrican, Rpublican lilator in South Carolina) Thr r no Arican-Amrican Rpublicanlctd to th Gnral Ambl hn th n otr ID la padS Cod Ann § 713710  S Cod Ann § 7137 (On o h manar hall opar h natur on th poll lt th thnatur on h votr drvr' ln, ritraon noaon, or ohr idntiaon    S NCSL otr Idntiication Rqirmnt httpnclordaultapaid1602) 2  safe method o voting or in-person voters to mitigate these new burdens and withoutrequiring the voter to return days later to deend a provisiona baot.crmnatory Eect T highly restrictive photo identification requirements on voting has multiple impacts directedat racial minority voters First, the South Carolina State Election Commission data shows racialmiority voters comprise a disproportionate percentage of those voters lacking stateissuedidtification. Second, African American, Sout Carolinas largest racial minority ave a mhier incidence of poverty and lack of access to transportation, which affects their ability toobtain the acceptable forms of identification Third, African Aericans have a much higherliklihood of suspension of their drivers license, which means they are more likely to lose theirability to vote simply because they do not have insurance or fail to pay traffic fines These areunacceptable burdens on the fundamental right of all properly registered voters to be free fromunrasonable burdens on their right to vote. Additionally the potential use of face-to-photocoparisons and sspensions o driver's licenses or improper votr suppression throughchallenges to voters is more likely given the voting history in South Carolina than anundocumented and nonexistent problem of impersonation of voters during in-person voting.T Department of Justice produced a Section 5 Recommendation Memorandum dated August25 2005 regarding the eorgia Voter ID law and which was made publicly available.Weresectfully reference the Memorandum and incorporate its analyses and reasons for objecting tote more restrictive and burdensome Sout Carolina Voter ID law.In particular, we wouldpoit out Sout Carolina did not expand absentee voting to anyone who requests an absenteeballot.!!Even no-excuse absentee voting was not sufficient to obviate the retrogressive effect onracial minority voters because, according to national composite data,! blacks are only hal aslikl as wits to vot by aset aot.!Based on this known data, the new Voter ID law inSouth Carolina targeting only in-person voting may have been pursued wit a discriminatorypurose.  S hpahinonpocopdynconncuo2006CU20060869h  Thon par o h Morandu  rpcul ubi a hav bn incorrc a Par IIBroriv purpo hih d o ovr phaiz hr i no dir vidn ha  h pipurpo [a] rrorin inori voin rnh d a 38 O cour circuania vidnc iao aa ncar o prov an ipropr oiv and houd b conidrd ih qua ih I Sid a 3  Thubiin auhori ad no ap a iiaionbu h Sa Ecion Coiion a i dono vn hav hi daa S Eai ro Chri Whiir o S Ecion Coiion on Au 2420a 9:9 a (rvalin h Elcion Coiion do no hav urnou nubr or prcna o rird vor ho vod b h variou hodaiin abn inpron abn, and inpronon cion dab rac)  S hpahinonpocopdynconncuo2006CU2060869J a3   e would also point out the objection to Submission 9949 discussed on pages 44-4 in theemorandum The circumstances here are similar, and in response to the Attorne eneralsoection, these changes were subsequentl mitigated b an adequate failsafe affidavit forreistered voters and also an expansion of acceptable identificationsIn South Carolina there ino adequate failsafe for registered voters without photo identification, and there is a highlretrictive group of acceptable identification Vid nd Crrent Identition Signicantly Ipacts te oting Rigts o Minorities SothCarolina took its highl restrictive forms of acceptable identification another step too farb requiring an photo identification to be both valid and current Valid and current photoidentification is too fickle and uncertain to protect the fundamental right to vote of a properlreistered elector. It is impemissible to ondition a properl registered eletor's right to vote onpaing a traic ticket, obtaining and maintaining automobile insurance, or paing properttaesHowever, the new Voter ID law creates those conditions b implicating the 68 reasons avoter's drivers liense ma be suspended at an time b the Depatment o Motor Vehiles or boperation of law For this one reason, the Attorne General should object to the new Voter IDlan a state with the ugl histor of burdening and prohibiting voters on the basis of the color of their skin like South Carolina has, this unnecessaril restrictive requirement of a valid andcurrent photo identification appears to have a discriminator purpose of highlighting an eletorsskin color and facial characteristics, rather than preserving minorit voting strength protected inthe benchmark of a signature comparison for properl registered in-person voting.The discriminator impact on members of a racial minorit group is more easil measurable thanthe discriminator purpose.When socioeconomic factors and age are considered along with  Id at 45  S mal from Am TalHornb of S C Dpartmnt of Motor hl on ul 27 2011 provdnatahmnt nttld Supnon  ThMnort Ladr of th South Carolna Snat mad th rmark for th rordTh llaton a urrntl rttn ll hav a raall drmnator mpat nth ondut of our futur lton Th onfrn rport trp aa arl votnprovon hh had th potntal to lmnat lon ln at th poll, mak votn morabl for ldrl rdnt and hlp mtat om of th natv mpat of thphoto dntaton rqurmnt h onr' unlnn to nlud ar votnaffrm th valdt of m mvn about th llatonUnfortunatl, thr ar pron and oranzaton hh k to dlut th votof mnort tzn n our tat th Bll ould furthr that am W t out to buld onth rord turnout n th 2 lton l and no  hav ntad ratd to thvr potv vnt n uh a mannr o a to rvr and/or mpd and dmnh votrpartpaton 4
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