Federal court upholds SC voter ID law

WASHINGTON (AP/WCIV) -- A federal court has upheld South Carolina's voter ID law, but delayed its implementation until 2013.

The state went to court after the Department of Justice blocked the law, saying it diminishes minorities' voting rights. South Carolina is required to get federal approval for the law because of its history of discrimination against minority voters.

In a prepared statement, South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson said the law is not discriminatory and does not disenfranchise voters.

"Today's ruling by the three-judge panel is a major victory for South Carolina and its election process," Wilson said. "It affirms our voter ID law is valid and constitutional under the Voting Rights Act."

In a statement on her Facebook page, Gov. Nikki Haley said the ruling is "another win for our state and our country."

South Carolina Democratic Party officials said they were disappointed in the ruling.

"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," said Dick Harpootlian.

The judges say in their unanimous ruling that time is too short to put the law in effect ahead of the Nov. 6 elections.

The law requires those wanting to vote in South Carolina to show one of five types of photo identification in order to cast a ballot.

South Carolina's law was the first voting law in nearly 20 years that the Department of Justice refused to OK.