Friday, December 23, 2011

Justice Department blocks SC photo ID voting law

Washington – Many minority voters do not have photo ID, according to a Justice Department ruling on South Carolina's voter identification requirement signed into law in May.

In noting the new requirement could harm the right to vote of tens of thousands of people, the department said just over a third of the state's minorities who are registered do not have the driver's license, passport or military ID needed to cast a ballot.

In the ruling, Thomas Perez, the civil rights division chief said, “The state's data demonstrate that non-white voters are both significantly burdened” by the new law, and added that minorities are “disproportionately unlikely to possess the most common types of photo identification.”

A provision of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the review is required in certain southern states once part of the Confederate States of America, which seceded from the United States in 1861 over the issues of states' rights, involuntary servitude, and Congressional representation, among others. Such states must first receive approval of the Justice Department for new boundaries proposed for congressional districts reapportioned due to population shifts.

Votes for Republican Senator John McCain in South Carolina surpassed the results for President Barack Hussein Obama by 9 points.

The states may appeal the Justice Department decisions, either directly or through the federal courts. A Texas Congressional and legislative district map met with disapproval by both the Justice Department and a Federal appeals court for the western District of Texas at San Antonio.

The ban on South Carolina's voter ID requirement is seen as part of a growing confrontation between states which overwhelmingly refused to grant President Barack Hussein Obama electoral votes in the general election of 2008. It brings into question voter ID laws in Texas, where a similar requirement has been passed by an overwhelmingly Republican legislature.

Mr. Perez said that the South Carolina law's attempt to block voter fraud did not offer any evidence of the problem that are not already addressed by the state's existing laws. Proposed exceptions to the new rule were too vague and offered no clear plan for voter edcuation or training materials, according to the ruling.

The King Street Patriots chapter of the TEA Party recently accused the Obama Administration and the NAACP of plotting to bring in election observers from the United Nations to challenge their “true the vote” program regarding photo ID and lists of approved voters.

Poll watchers in Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio, as well as Texas, insisted that elections officials turn voters away from the polls in 2008 and 2010, claiming their names were not on the rolls of approved voters due to felony records or probationary status in the courts for various criminal convictions.

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