Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- After the Federal Appeals Court issued a ruling earlier today, approving South Carolina's Voter I.D. Law to begin in 2013, members of South Carolina's political circles began issuing opinions.
Congressman James Clyburn issued the following statement:
"All South Carolinians need to know that the new law on voter identification is not in effect for this year's elections. I strongly encourage all eligible voters to exercise that right.
"I want to see the U.S. Department of Justice closely monitor the implementation of this new law to make sure it is consistent with the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and I will continue to work to pass the Voter Empowerment Act and protect our vote."
South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson issued the following:
"Today's ruling by the three judge panel is a major victory for South Carolina and its election process. It affirms our voter ID law is valid and constitutional under the Voting Rights Act. The fact remains, voter ID laws do not discriminate or disenfranchise; they ensure integrity at the ballot box.
"This ruling also affirms South Carolina's voter ID law should have been pre-cleared by the U.S. Justice Department.
"We will work diligently to implement this law for all future elections."
House Speaker Bobby Harrell issued the following statement:
"This summer, I had the privilege of defending South Carolina and our citizens in this court case against the Obama Administration's increased attacks on our state's right to preserve the integrity of our electoral process. Today's court ruling affirms what I was there fighting to defend - a secure ballot to ensure our elections remain fair, free and safely accessible to all of our state's citizens.
"In our society today, you need a photo ID to do just about anything, except vote. Citizens are now required to show a valid photo ID to purchase cough medicine, cash a check, board a plane or even enter the very Federal Courthouse where South Carolina's Voter ID trial was held.
"At the heart of democracy is the right to vote. If we do not protect our voting right from fraud and abuse, we are not protecting the very ideals of democracy. This law will add integrity to our voting process and ensure that every voice is heard - and counted."
South Carolina Democratic Party Chair Dick Harpootlian posted the following statement on his Facebook Page:
"I am disappointed in the court's decision to uphold South Carolina's Voter ID law. The South Carolina Democratic Party strongly disagrees with the court's opinion and is hopeful that the United States Supreme Court will resolve the differences between various Voter ID cases around the country.
"Fortunately, this decision does NOT go into affect until AFTER the 2012 election so no photo ID is necessary for the November 6 general election.
"It's time for this state to find solutions to real problems. Republicans Nikki Haley, John Courson, and Joan Brady have spent millions in taxpayer funds on this cure in search of a disease. Voters will have an opportunity this November to voice their disapproval and defeat Courson, Brady and many other Republican incumbents."