The Justice Department’s rejection of South Carolina’s voter ID law probably won’t prevent other states from adopting similar measures, analysts say. “Unfortunately, I don’t think this is going to have a significant chilling effect,” said Wendy Weiser, a voter ID opponent and lawyer at the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University law school.
The South Carolina law would have required voters to show one of five government-issued IDs — such as a drivers license or passport — before casting a ballot. Justice officials said the state didn’t show the law complied with the 1965 Voter Rights Act and didn’t justify the need for the law or prove widespread voter impersonation, which tougher ID laws are designed to prevent. South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley has promised to appeal.
Doug Chapin, an election-law expert at the University of Minnesota, agreed it’s unlikely the rejection of the South Carolina law will sway advocates for similar laws in other states. “People who believe in IDs are just going to go foot to the floor and try to get it enacted,” he said.
And the South Carolina decision applies only in that state, limiting its national impact, said Jennie Bowser, an elections expert at the National Conference of State Legislatures. “I don’t think that any state is going to stop either their consideration of voter ID or their implementation of their voter ID law because of what the DOJ did last week,” Bowser said. “I think it’s just one more voice in the debate at this point.”
The Justice Department is expected to rule on Texas’ voter ID law in early 2012.
Full Article: Impact of S.C. voter ID law rejection limited – USATODAY.com.