State democracy news: South Carolina voter ID, and Montana campaign finance
Much of the news and happenings going on at the democracy front are taking place on the state level.
In South Carolina today, a federal court denied preclearance to the state’s proposed voter ID law, preventing it from being in place for this November’s election. However, the court did allow the law to go into effect for elections starting in 2013. This continues a trend pointed out by Stateline that involves courts putting a hold on voter ID laws for 2012 elections but allowing them to be enforced in future elections.
In Montana, campaign finance contribution limits have been temporarily restored by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which asked a lower court to provide further clarification on their ruling. Individuals in Montana are limited to contributions of $630 to candidates for governor and lieutenant governor, while contributions to other candidates for public office are limited to $160. These do not apply to federal Senate or House candidates, though.
We’ll see what happens as we move forward – how the voter ID law will be put into practice in future elections, and what will happen with Montana campaign finance limits. It appears as though, at least for 2012, these decisions will stand.