Starting today, a federal court in DC will hear a week-long trial to decide whether South Carolina's new voter ID law violates the Voting Rights Act. The Department of Justice objected to the law last December under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, finding that South Carolina had failed to prove that the measure would not disenfranchise minority voters.
Here's the relevant evidence presented by DOJ:
"Of the total number of registered voters in the state, 239,333 (or 8.9%) did not possess a DMV-issued photo identification (either a driver's license or a non-driver's photo ID card) that would satisfy the requirements under Act R54. When disaggregated by race, the state's data show that 8.4% of white registered voters lacked any form of DMV-issued ID, as compared to 10.0% of non-white registered voters. In other words, according to the state's data ... minority registered voters were nearly 20% more likely to lack the DMV-issued ID than white registered voters, and thus to be effectively disenfranchised by Act R54's new requirements....
"Notably, seven counties with the highest percentages of registered voters who lack DMV-issued identification are also among the ten counties in South Carolina that have the highest percentage of voting-age persons who are non-white.