A South Carolina voter-identification law does not discriminate against African Americans but must be delayed until next year because it would cause too much confusion at polling places so close to Election Day, a federal court ruled Wednesday.
In a unanimous ruling , a special three-judge panel found the law, which requires voters to display one of five types of photo identification, would not harm African Americans and was not enacted with discrimination in mind.
“South Carolina’s new voter ID law is significantly more friendly to voters without qualifying photo IDs than several other contemporary state laws that have passed legal muster,” wrote Brett M. Kavanaugh, a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. He was joined in his opinion by U.S. District Court judges Colleen Kollar-Kotelly and John D. Bates.
Although they determined the law was not discriminatory, the judges blocked it from being implemented until at least 2013, citing “the potential for chaos” if officials tried to enforce it for the Nov. 6 election.