“In last year’s Voter ID case, a three judge federal court unanimously recognized South Carolina’s longstanding policy of protecting the rights of voters and interpreting laws to safeguard those rights. South Carolina still has this policy and will continue to maintain it.
“The U.S. Attorney General’s understanding of what the court did last year is categorically wrong. Attorney General Holder claimed in his speech that the Voting Rights Act prompted South Carolina to change the way its new voting statute would be implemented in future elections to eliminate what would have been dramatic discriminatory effect. That is not what happened at all. The court in no way changed the substance of South Carolina’s Voter ID law, and upheld the law based upon the “reasonable impediment” provision adopted by the legislature.
“Some media outlets and critics claim the law’s “reasonable impediment” provision was later added in order to gain pre-clearance. That provision was always part of the law from the time of its passage. The court recognized that fact when it stated, ‘At first blush, one might have thought South Carolina had enacted a very strict photo ID law. Much of the initial rhetoric surrounding the law suggested as much. But that rhetoric was based on a misunderstanding of how the law would work.’
“Attorney General Holder is rewriting history to advance a political agenda.
“South Carolina is proud of the progress it has made in protecting the rights of its voters, and will continue to encourage full voter participation in all coming elections.”
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