Republican presidential hopefuls spent Saturday crisscrossing Iowa ahead of Tuesday’s caucuses, but some candidates had one eye toward South Carolina’s Jan. 21 primary and an issue that might help them gain traction in the Palmetto State. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who represented Georgia, used a stop in Council Bluffs, Iowa, to accuse the Obama administration of trying to “steal elections” in the wake of the Justice Department’s rejection of South Carolina’s voter identification law.
The Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division determined that the South Carolina law requiring voters to show a photo ID at polling places was discriminatory against minorities. “… You have to ask, why is it that they are so desperate to retain the ability to steal elections, and I think that’s what it comes down to,” Gingrich said.
On Thursday, former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania also blasted the Justice Department ruling, accusing the administration of pursuing “common-sense anti-fraud measures that states have put in place all because they believe it’s a partisan advantage for them to get people who probably shouldn’t be voting to help them and their political cause.”
The South Carolina is one of more than a dozen mostly Republican-controlled states that have approved new voting laws that include requiring government-approved photo ID to register or vote, shortening early voting periods and curtailing voter registration efforts by third-party groups like the League of Women Voters or the NAACP.