GOP Field Critical of DOJ Decision to Block South Carolina Voter ID

Published Wed, Jan 18 2012 5:05 AM

The South Carolina Attorney General is suing the Department of Justice for denying preclearance of the state voter ID law.  As the Republican presidential candidates are gearing up for Saturday’s primary in the Palmetto State, they have been vocal on this topic.  The GOP field supports voter ID laws like South Carolina’s and has been critical of Eric Holder’s Justice Department decision to reject the voter ID law. 

Former Speaker Newt Gingrich tweeted last week, “Requiring ID to vote is common sense defense against fraud. SC is right to challenge Obama DOJ” and wrote a longer defense of voter ID laws in The Daily Caller.  Gingrich wrote, “Instead of standing in the way of good government, the Obama administration should applaud efforts to bring integrity to South Carolina elections and elections in all states, especially as we enter 2012 and what will perhaps be a contentious election year.” 

Governor Rick Perry said, “Each of our states are under assault right now by this administration. We may be under assault - South Carolina, they're actually at war with you” in a public forum in Charleston.  He added“I’m saying the state of Texas is under assault by the federal government. I’m saying also that South Carolina is at war with this federal government, and with this administration.”

Former Governor Mitt Romney said, “I find it extraordinary that Eric Holder is one more time making a very serious error.  The idea that people should not able to be identified when they vote so we know that they are not voting multiple times.  And that’s the purpose here of course.   We don’t want people voting multiple times. And you can get a photo ID free from your state and get it at the time you register to vote… There are ways that we can do this that would protect our voting system.”

When asked about the South Carolina voter ID law, former Senator Rick Santorum called voter ID laws “common-sense, anti-fraud measures” and noted the common uses of photo identification: “You need photo ID to buy a drink; you need photo ID to get on an airplane. You need photo ID to buy cigarettes."

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