In the latest in the nationwide fight over restrictive voter-identification legislation, a South Carolina law requiring voters to show specific forms of identification (a driver's license or other photo ID issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles, a passport, a military ID with photo or a voter-registration card that includes a photo) went before a federal panel today.
Last year the Justice Department deemed it a violation of the Voting Rights Act, which is designed to protect access to the polls, particularly by minorities. From the Los Angeles Times:
The three judges will rule only on the South Carolina case — and the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to be asked to consider an appeal, regardless of which side wins — but the broader question of who gets to vote has been one of the key issues of the current election cycle.
According to the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law, 17 states have passed restrictive voting laws or have imposed restrictive executive actions. Those states account for 218 of the 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency.
Not all of the states are true battleground states in which turnout could affect the final result, but the major battleground states of Florida, Iowa, New Hampshire, Ohio and Virginia are in the group.
Read more at the Los Angeles Times.