Monday marked the end of the Justice Department’s 60–day review of South Carolina’s new voter ID law, which Republican Gov. Nikki Haley signed in May. Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act mandates South Carolina and several other southern states to seek approval for any changes to its voting laws due to their histories of discrimination. DOJ did not make a ruling on whether it violates the Voting Rights Act, however, and is asking for additional information.
The new law would require voters to present a driver’s license or state-issued ID card, a new state voter registration card with a photo, a federal military ID or a passport. Voters who fail to do so will be allowed to cast a provisional ballot but must produce one of the required IDs within three days or their votes will not be counted.
The Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, in a letter , has requested a list of voters who don’t yet have a government-issued photo ID as required by the law, broken down by race. In addition, it has asked for more information about how the law would be implemented, including voter education and notification of the change and alternative forms of identification that can be used to get a state-issued identification card other than a birth certificate. Responses to the agency’s queries must be submitted by Sept. 12.
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