Voters saved by a court. Again.
South Carolina’s law requiring voters to show photo identification at the polls was blocked by federal judges in Washington for the Nov. 6 election, the fourth time this year a court has rejected similar legislation.
A special panel of three federal judges in Washington today ruled that South Carolina’s measure requiring that federal or state-issued photo ID be presented at polling stations put an unreasonable burden on minority voters in violation of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The judges said the law may be used in elections held after this year.
“Given the short time left before the 2012 elections, and given the numerous steps necessary to properly implement the law — particularly the new “reasonable impediment” provision — and ensure that the law would not have discriminatory retrogressive effects on African-American voters in 2012, we do not grant pre-clearance for the 2012 elections,” U.S. Circuit Judge Brett Kavanaugh said in the ruling.
South Carolina is the fourth state, following Texas, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, to have a voter-ID law passed by a Republican-dominated legislature stopped in court.
South Carolina isn’t gong to decide the presidential election, but it’s my view that it’s important to advocate on behalf of those voters who would be disenfranchised everywhere and always.
I think there’s a bigger story behind the voter suppression laws, and it’s the really stunning incompetence and indifference to the ordinary good-government role of administering elections. Republicans in these states did nothing to address the problems that arose as a result of their new laws. Nothing. They passed the laws and then immediately abandoned the whole project. It’s frightening that the legislative branch failed to do their job and then the executive branch failed to do their job and the resulting mess was dumped on courts.