Today, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (“LDF”) Policy Counsel Steven Lance testified before the South Carolina House Legislative Oversight Committee’s Ad Hoc Committee – State Election Commission regarding the maintenance of voter rolls. The LDF submitted written testimony to the Committee yesterday. Today’s testimony came in response to the hearing notice that stated the Committee will be reviewing the SEC’s process for “removing deceased people from the state’s active voter registration list.” The proposal raises concerns as voter roll purges are particularly liable to produce discriminatory results. South Carolina and other states have previously attempted or implemented list-maintenance actions based on incomplete or insufficiently reliable evidence, including driver’s license records—which are not intended for voter-roll maintenance and are unsuited for the purpose. In 2012, South Carolina used the specter of “zombie voting” to justify restrictive voting laws. LDF’s written testimony details that history and identifies several ways that a state’s discriminatory purge practices or standards can subject the state to liability under the Constitution and federal law.
Read the written testimony here.
Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization. LDF has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF.