Columbia personal injury attorney Herb Louthian, a partner at Louthian Law Firm, P.A., believes the cost for South Carolina taxpayers to fight the new Voter ID requirement will exceed $1 million. As a board member of Common Cause, Louthian explains that with a high-cost, Washington, DC, attorney being used by the state, as opposed to using existing legal staff on hand for the state’s legal matters, the cost could become excessive.
South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley signed the voter ID bill into law in May requiring voters to show photo identification to cast ballots in person. Critics see the law as an attempt to keep the poor, who often do not have a state-issued id, from voting.
Under the federal Voting Rights Act, no state can impose a “voting qualification or prerequisite to voting” that could be deemed discriminatory. As a result, the South Carolina attorney general’s office must argue before a three-judge panel in U.S. District Court in Washington that the law is meant to prevent fraud and is not an attempt to unfairly restrict residents from voting. Attorney General Wilson decided to bring in an out-of-state attorney. The attorney’s rate is $520-an-hour.