ACLU In Court To Block South Carolina’s Discriminatory Voter ID Law

August 27, 2012

ACLU Intervened In The Case to Protect Minorities’ Voting Rights

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: (212) 549-2666; media@aclu.org

WASHINGTON – Attorneys with the American Civil Liberties Union were in court today seeking to block South Carolina from enacting a voter ID law that will keep eligible voters from casting a ballot.

“We’re here to protect people’s constitutional right to vote,” said Nancy Abudu, senior staff attorney with the ACLU Voting Rights Project. “South Carolina has a troubling history of suppressing the right to vote, and this law disproportionately impacts minorities, the elderly and other groups.”

“Despite no proof that voter impersonation is a problem in South Carolina, our state has imposed another hurdle on voters who have historically been disfranchised,” said Victoria Middleton, executive director of the ACLU of South Carolina. “We will continue to fight this and other voter suppression measures to ensure access to the polls for all eligible voters in our state.”

Today marked the first of five days of scheduled testimony in South Carolina v. Holder at the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The ACLU intervened in the case in order to represent impacted voters and groups and help protect the right to vote.

Under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, states with a history of discriminatory voting laws – including South Carolina – must have changes to their voting laws approved, or precleared, by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) or the federal district court in Washington. The ACLU submitted two comment letters to DOJ opposing preclearance of South Carolina’s law, Act R54. DOJ blocked the law in December and on Feb. 7, South Carolina took the issue to court. The ACLU and its affiliates have also intervened in a voter ID case in Texas, and filed lawsuits over discriminatory laws in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

To read the ACLU’s motion to intervene in the South Carolina case: www.aclu.org/files/assets/sc_motion_to_intervene_memo.pdf

To learn more about the ACLU’s work on voting rights: www.aclu.org/pressroom/voting

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