-by Ryan J. Reilly
August 29, 2011- The Justice Department wants more information about South Carolina's new voter ID law, which was signed by Gov. Nikki Haley (R) in May.
Under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, South Carolina is required to have changes to the state's voting laws precleared by federal authorities or by a federal court to insure they're not discriminatory.
A letter from the Voting Section of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division asks South Carolina for more information about their voter ID law and lays out eight questions about how it will be implemented.
The law requires voters to show a driver's license, military identification or passport as well as their voter registration card at the polls. Monday marked the end of the 60-day review period for the new law.
A coalition of voting rights groups wrote the Justice Department earlier this month to ask it to oppose South Carolina's law.
"South Carolina clearly has not satisfied its burden in showing that its photo voter identification law is neither retrogressive nor discriminatory in its purpose," they wrote.
On Friday, the state Senate's Democratic caucus filed an official objection to the law with the Justice Department.
"This is just wrong," said state Sen. Gerald Malloy. "With all the problems we have in this state relating to the economy, and we end up having a partisan bill that would disenfranchise poor and primarily African-American voters — this is not where we want our state to go."
Haley has insisted the law isn't meant to discriminate against any group and that showing a photo ID at the polls is common sense.