Justice Department spokeswoman Dena Iverson issued this statement Wednesday about a federal court's decision to block South Carolina's voter ID law in November. The decision allows the law, which DOJ noted underwent "broad modifications" during the course of the trial, to go forward in 2013 and beyond.
The Department of Justice is pleased that the court has denied preclearance of the South Carolina law for the 2012 elections. With regard to future elections, the Department welcomes the court's agreement that South Carolina's law required broad modifications in order to respond to the serious concerns raised by the Attorney General that the law as written would exclude minority voters. We also agree with the court’s observation that this shows the continuing need for Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. The court's preclearance of the law for future elections is expressly conditioned on South Carolina's binding promise that all qualified voters without photo ID will still be allowed to vote without additional burden. If the law -- as modified by South Carolina during the course of the trial -- takes effect for future elections, the Attorney General intends to monitor its implementation closely to ensure compliance with the court's order.