Nikki Haley

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South Carolina: State can keep redrawn districts, Supreme Court says | Associated Press

The Supreme Court said Monday that South Carolina can keep its redrawn state house and congressional maps despite a challenge from black voters in the state. The justices offered no comment when they rejected the appeal from voters, who wanted the court to re-examine the newly drawn borders of state house and congressional districts. In 2012, six black voters from counties in the southern and eastern parts of the state sued Republican Gov. Nikki Haley and the Republican-controlled state legislature. They sought to throw out the redrawn district maps and prevent the state from holding any elections based on those maps. They argued the maps pushed black voters into one congressional district and created “voting apartheid.”

Full Article: South Carolina can keep redrawn districts, Supreme Court says - CBS News.

South Carolina: Four Pinocchios: The case of ‘zombie’ voters in South Carolina | The Washington Post

“We just recently learned that there are over 900 individuals who had died before the election (and had voted) and at least 600 of those individuals had died way outside the window that an absentee ballot could have been sent, so we know for a fact that there are deceased people whose identities are being used in elections in South Carolina.”— South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson (R), on Fox News, Jan. 21, 2012

“We found out that there were over 900 people who died and then subsequently voted. That number could be even higher than that.” — Wilson, on Fox News, Jan. 12, 2012

“Without Photo ID, let’s be clear, I don’t want dead people voting in the state of South Carolina.” — South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R), in an interview that aired on Fox News, April 21, 2012

We don’t normally delve into statements so long after they were made, but this is an unusual case, brought to our attention by a reader. Take a look at the rather definitive statements made by South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson, such as “we know for a fact that there are deceased people whose identities are being used in elections in South Carolina.” This was a rather shocking claim, which stemmed from allegations made by Kevin Schwedo, executive director of the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles. (“Well over 900 individuals appear to have voted after they died.”) One state lawmaker famously declared: “We must have certainty in South Carolina that zombies aren’t voting.”

Full Article: The case of ‘zombie’ voters in South Carolina - The Washington Post.

South Carolina: Nikki Haley Takes Heat After Report Blows Up ‘Bogus’ Voter Fraud Claims | Huffington Post

For years, South Carolina Republicans have complained about the names of dead voters being used to cast ballots in a broad voter fraud scheme. Now that a recent report by the State Law Enforcement Division has blown up those claims, unable to find a single example of a “zombie voter” committing fraud, one Democrat is demanding that Gov. Nikki Haley (R) apologize for her party’s “bogus” crusade. In a statement released Monday, House Democratic Leader Todd Rutherford accused Haley and other Republicans of deliberately and deceptively pushing false claims for political gain. “Now we have the proof that shows that the accusations of voter fraud were completely without merit,” said Rutherford. “And once again, South Carolina’s taxpayers have to foot the bill for the millions of dollars unnecessarily spent as a result of Governor Haley and her colleagues’ incompetence and blind-ideology.”

Full Article: Nikki Haley Takes Heat After Report Blows Up 'Bogus' Voter Fraud Claims In South Carolina.

South Carolina: Governor Haley signs ballot access measure | WCIV

On the heels of the 2012 election, a team of Republican state senators joined former Attorney General Henry McMaster at Gov. Nikki Haley’s signing of the Equal Access to the Ballot Act. The Senate bill aimed to correct issues that prevented more than 200 candidates from being booted off ballots across the state. Last year, elections officials said the candidates did not properly file paperwork to join the races. “When you run for office, it’s a true sacrifice, it’s an individual sacrifice, it’s a family sacrifice, and you have to fight,” said Gov. Nikki Haley. “What we saw last election was one of the most painful things you can ever see in an election – you had 200 people wanting to fight, wanting to serve and they were denied access to the ballot. With this bill we are saying that no party or individual will ever get in the way of someone running for office. We are fighters in South Carolina and we want more fighters.”

Full Article: Gov. Haley signs ballot access measure - WCIV-TV | ABC News 4 - Charleston News, Sports, Weather.

South Carolina: Justice Department to monitor South Carolina congressional election | Reuters

The Justice Department will monitor voting in Charleston County, South Carolina, in Tuesday’s special election to fill a House of Representatives seat, the department said on Monday. Former South Carolina Republican Governor Mark Sanford is facing Democratic newcomer Elizabeth Colbert Busch, sister of television political satirist Stephen Colbert, in the First District House race. The Justice Department said in a statement it was monitoring the election under provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The law bars election discrimination on the basis of race, color or membership in a minority language group.

Full Article: Justice Department to monitor South Carolina congressional election | Reuters.

Editorials: The cost of South Carolina’s ‘Voter ID’ law | Rock Hill Herald

South Carolina apparently will recoup “tens of thousands of dollars” spent to sue the federal government over the state’s voter ID law. But before we break out the champagne and noisemakers, we need to note that the total bill came to $3.5 million, and for what? During the 2011 legislative session, the state passed a law that ostensibly required anyone hoping to vote to produce an official photo ID of some kind. In December 2011, the U.S. Attorney General’s Office blocked the law from going into effect, saying it would disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of South Carolina voters – mostly minorities and elderly residents who don’t have photo IDs. S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson then sued the government at a cost of $3.5 million, most of which was used to pay for outside lawyers to argue the case. That was roughly three times Wilson’s original estimate of what the case would cost.

Full Article: The cost of SC’s ‘Voter ID’ law | Editorials | Rock Hill Herald Online.

South Carolina: South Carolina Governor Haley admits state failed to protect its residents | TheState.com

As more South Carolinians learned that hackers hold their tax return data, Gov. Nikki Haley admitted Tuesday that the state did not do enough to protect their sensitive financial information and accepted the resignation of the agency director in the middle of the controversy. “Could South Carolina have done a better job? Absolutely, or we would not be standing here,” said Haley, who had insisted in the first days after revealing the cyber attack that nothing could have prevented the breach. Hackers possess Social Security and other data belonging to 5.7 million people – 3.8 million taxpayers and their 1.9 million dependents, Haley said. The number of businesses affected has risen slightly to nearly 700,000. All of the stolen tax data dating back to 1998 was unencrypted.

Full Article: Columbia, SC - Haley admits state failed to protect its residents - Local / Metro - TheState.com.

South Carolina: States’ voter ID laws are underlying issue in 2012 presidential race | The Washington Post

South Carolina is in federal court arguing that its new law requiring people prove their identity at the polls won’t make voting so tough that it reduces turnout of African-Americans, Hispanics and other minorities. A federal panel is to determine whether South Carolina’s voter identification law violates the Voting Rights Act by putting heavy burdens on minorities who don’t have the identification. Last December, the Justice Department refused to allow South Carolina to require the photo IDs, saying doing so would reverse the voting gains of the states’ minorities. Closing arguments in the case — which went to trial in August and included several state officials as witnesses — were scheduled for Monday. South Carolina has said it would implement the law immediately if the three-judge panel upholds it, although a decision either way is likely to be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Full Article: States’ voter ID laws are underlying issue in 2012 presidential race - The Washington Post.

National: Voting Laws In Several States Remain Unsettled | NPR

Eight weeks before the presidential election, new laws passed by Republican legislatures that concern who can vote and when remain in the hands of federal and state judges. Among the cases: The Pennsylvania Supreme Court this week will hear an appeal to overturn that state’s new voter ID law. An appeal is expected in a case involving early voting in Ohio. And a federal court is still considering whether South Carolina can go ahead with its new voter ID law. On Aug. 28, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley drew huge applause during her Republican National Convention speech when she promoted the state’s new law, which — if upheld — would require a state-approved photo identification at the polls. “We said in South Carolina that if you have to show a picture ID to buy Sudafed, if you have to show a picture ID to set foot on an airplane, then you should have to show picture ID to protect one of the most valuable, most central, sacred rights we are blessed with in America — the right to vote,” said Haley.

Full Article: Voting Laws In Several States Remain Unsettled : NPR.

South Carolina: Court schedule tightens window for new voter ID | TheState.com

A revised timetable for a federal lawsuit over South Carolina’s voter ID law would make it harder for the new state requirements to impact the Nov. 6 general election. On Tuesday, the judges who will consider the case rescheduled oral arguments for September 24. That’s nearly two months later than originally planned – and is also more than a week after the deadline by which state officials have said they would need a decision in order to prepare to implement the law this year. The three-judge panel doesn’t forecast when it might rule in the case. But state prosecutors say they’ll need a determination by September 15 in order to have enough time to make sure people understand the requirements. In December, the federal government blocked South Carolina’s photo ID requirement in December, saying it could keep tens of thousands of the state’s minorities from casting ballots and failed to meet requirements of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which requires approval from that agency for changes to South Carolina’s election laws because of the state’s past failure to protect blacks’ voting rights.

Full Article: Court schedule tightens window for new SC voter ID - State & Regional - TheState.com.

South Carolina: Atlantic Beach election under the microscope | CarolinaLive.com

Tuesday, Atlantic Beach held an election that was ordered by Governor Nikki Haley in March. “When the governor issues an executive order for a state agency to do something, we react,” said State Election Commission spokesperson Chris Whitmire. “We want the voters to have an opportunity to cast a ballot today in a fair election and have the reassurance that their votes will count.” Governor Haley issued the order because she felt the town’s election commission did not act swiftly enough. Atlantic Beach’s Election Commission threw out the town’s November 2011 election after some of the losing candidates appealed the results, but the commission did not set a new election date. The governor’s order also included Horry County overseeing the election instead of Atlantic Beach.

Full Article: Atlantic Beach election under the microscope : News : CarolinaLive.com.

South Carolina: Atlantic Beach election under the microscope | CarolinaLive.com

Tuesday, Atlantic Beach held an election that was ordered by Governor Nikki Haley in March. “When the governor issues an executive order for a state agency to do something, we react,” said State Election Commission spokesperson Chris Whitmire. “We want the voters to have an opportunity to cast a ballot today in a fair election and have the reassurance that their votes will count.” Governor Haley issued the order because she felt the town’s election commission did not act swiftly enough. Atlantic Beach’s Election Commission threw out the town’s November 2011 election after some of the losing candidates appealed the results, but the commission did not set a new election date. The governor’s order also included Horry County overseeing the election instead of Atlantic Beach.

Full Article: Atlantic Beach election under the microscope : News : CarolinaLive.com.

South Carolina: Disputed special election still on in Atlantic Beach Tuesday | TheSunNews.com

Although some Atlantic Beach officials have said there will be no special election on Tuesday, Gov. Nikki Haley’s order for the vote still stands, and Horry County and state elections officials are going forward with their plans. The election became necessary after the the Nov. 1 results were challenged and then declared void by the town’s election commission. But when the election commission didn’t set a date for a new election, the governor stepped in and issued the order in March. 

Full Article: Special election still on in Atlantic Beach Tuesday - Top News - TheSunNews.com.

South Carolina: Disputed special election still on in Atlantic Beach Tuesday | TheSunNews.com

Although some Atlantic Beach officials have said there will be no special election on Tuesday, Gov. Nikki Haley’s order for the vote still stands, and Horry County and state elections officials are going forward with their plans. The election became necessary after the the Nov. 1 results were challenged and then declared void by the town’s election commission. But when the election commission didn’t set a date for a new election, the governor stepped in and issued the order in March. 

Full Article: Special election still on in Atlantic Beach Tuesday - Top News - TheSunNews.com.

South Carolina: No new candidates allowed; primary ballots set | TheState.com

The South Carolina Election Commission told the state Republican Party on Thursday that it effectively can’t put a challenger to Gov. Nikki Haley’s chief legislative opponent back on the June primary ballot. The commission said in an email Thursday the state GOP can’t recertify state Senate candidate Katrina Shealy, two weeks after decertifying her and other contenders. It noted the state Supreme Court set a noon May 4 deadline for the GOP and Democratic parties to submit their lists of candidates who properly filed financial forms, and that ruling must be heeded. Shealy was among some 200 candidates for offices statewide decertified for not filing correctly. “To accept candidates after that would be in violation of that order,” election commission spokesman Chris Whitmire told The Associated Press. “The June primary ballots are set. Ballots have been printed. Voting machines have been prepared, and voters are voting.”

Full Article: No new candidates allowed; SC sets primary ballots - State & Regional - TheState.com.

South Carolina: No new candidates allowed; primary ballots set | TheState.com

The South Carolina Election Commission told the state Republican Party on Thursday that it effectively can’t put a challenger to Gov. Nikki Haley’s chief legislative opponent back on the June primary ballot. The commission said in an email Thursday the state GOP can’t recertify state Senate candidate Katrina Shealy, two weeks after decertifying her and other contenders. It noted the state Supreme Court set a noon May 4 deadline for the GOP and Democratic parties to submit their lists of candidates who properly filed financial forms, and that ruling must be heeded. Shealy was among some 200 candidates for offices statewide decertified for not filing correctly. “To accept candidates after that would be in violation of that order,” election commission spokesman Chris Whitmire told The Associated Press. “The June primary ballots are set. Ballots have been printed. Voting machines have been prepared, and voters are voting.”

Full Article: No new candidates allowed; SC sets primary ballots - State & Regional - TheState.com.

South Carolina: Justice Department: South Carolina voter ID law violates Voting Rights Act | USAToday.com

South Carolina’s voter ID law violates the Voting Rights Act and discriminates against minorities despite the state’s assertions to the contrary, the Obama administration says in new court papers. The U.S. Justice Department’s comments came in a 12-page document filed Monday with a District of Columbia court in response to South Carolina’s Feb. 7 voter ID lawsuit. Justice lawyers urged the judges to reject the state’s request for a declaratory judgment, which is a speedy decision by judges without a trial. The administration rejects South Carolina’s claim that the voter ID law “will not have the effect of denying or abridging the right to vote on account of race, color or membership in a language minority group,” Justice Department lawyers wrote in their legal brief. South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson’s office provided a copy of the brief Tuesday.

Full Article: Justice Dept.: S.C. voter ID law violates Voting Rights Act – USATODAY.com.

South Carolina: Voter ID Law Defended By State In Challenge To Justice Department | Huffington Post

The state of South Carolina yesterday filed a lawsuitchallenging the Justice Department’s recent blocking of the state’s recent voter identification law. And it could cost taxpayers upward of $1 million or more. In the lawsuit, Attorney General Alan Wilson asked a judge to overturn the federal government’s decision, saying that enforcement of the new law “will not disenfranchise any potential South Carolina voter,” according to reports. “The changes have neither the purpose nor will they have the effect of denying or abridging the right to vote on account of race, color, or membership in a language minority.” But Democrats and minority rights groups have said the laws are part of a concerted effort by Republicans to chip away at the voting rights of minorities — who are key constituencies for the Democrats — ahead of the 2012 presidential election.

Full Article: South Carolina Voter ID Law Defended By State In Challenge To Justice Department.

South Carolina: Lawsuit over voter ID could cost taxpayers more than $1 million | The Post and Courier

South Carolina taxpayers will be on the hook for a high-powered Washington attorney’s $520-an-hour rate when the state sues the federal government this week to protect its voter ID law. That litigation could cost more than $1 million, according to two South Carolina attorneys who have practiced before the U.S. Supreme Court. Supporters of South Carolna’s voter ID law say it is necessary to prevent voter fraud. Opponents say there is no proof that a voter-fraud problem exists.S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson has more than five dozen staff attorneys to handle the state’s legal affairs, but Wilson hired a former U.S. solicitor general to litigate the voter ID case at a rate of $520 an hour, a contract obtained last week reveals.

Full Article: State's lawsuit over voter ID could cost more than $1 million | The Post and Courier - Charleston, South Carolina.

South Carolina: Dead Wrong? Election Official Disputes Claim That Deceased Voted in South Carolina | Columbia Free Times

A top state election official disputes a recent claim that more than 950 people who voted in recent elections could actually be dead. Of the six names her office was allowed to examine, all were eligible to vote. But to hear some Republican officials tell it, you’d think that on Election Day in South Carolina, graveyards all across the state empty out and hordes of zombie voters lurch to the polls. But dead people can’t vote. They’re dead. 

Full Article: Free Times: This Just In.