DOJ Blocks South Carolina Voter ID Law

The U.S. Department of Justice rejected a proposed South Carolina law requiring voters to have photo identification on December 23. The department blocked the law based on concerns it would hurt the ability of people of color to cast a ballot.

In a letter announcing the rejection, the Justice Department said the new law could possibly harm the right to vote of tens of thousands, noting that just over one-third of people of color who are registered voters did not have a driver's license needed to cast a ballot.

According to a letter to the state, minority registered voters were 20% more likely to lack DMV-issued identification, and therefore effectively disenfranchised by the new law.

The move to block the South Carolina law comes less than two weeks after the Stand For Freedom march and rally in New York City. Led by the NAACP and 1199SEIU, the group of 25,000 marched on December 10 in the name of voting rights and against voter ID laws such as those proposed in South Carolina.

“South Carolina’s voter ID law was little more than a 21st Century poll tax, said NAACP President Benjamin Todd Jealous. “While some may quibble over the intent, there is no doubt the effect of this law would disproportionately block black South Carolinians from voting.”

*Read the full letter from DOJ rejecting SC’s voter ID law

**Sign the Stand For Freedom pledge for voting rights