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Politics at the Polls: The Photo ID Requirement to Vote in South Carolina

Monday, September 12, 2011

South Carolina is one of five states that passed new photo ID requirements for voting since the start of 2011, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures (Governors vetoed similar bills in New Hampshire, North Carolina, and Minnesota.). Advocates for the bill in South Carolina, including Republican Gov. Nikki Haley, say the law is to protect the integrity of state elections. Critics, however, say that there has not been a single documented case of voter impersonation at the polls, the kind of fraud photo identification requirements will address.

Now, the Obama administration's Justice Department has weighed in, questioning whether the new law creates undue burdens minority voters. That sets up a legal confrontation about voting access and states rights that will unfold in the shadow of the 2012 presidential campaign, and directly impact who can cast a vote in South Carolina's decisive early primary elections.

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