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January 15, 2013

S.C. seeking to recoup $53,000 from $3.5 million cost of voter ID lawsuit

South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson hopes to recoup $53,980.05 of the $3.5 million the state spent to sue the federal government over the implementation of South Carolina’s voter ID law.

South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson hopes to recoup $53,980.05 of the $3.5 million the state spent to sue the federal government over the implementation of South Carolina’s voter ID law.

A federal three-judge panel upheld the law in October that requires South Carolina registered voters to show a photo ID before voting. The court ruled the law did not disenfranchise voters because voters could opt out of the photo ID requirement if they had a “reasonable impediment” to obtaining a photo ID.

Earlier this month, the court ruled that because South Carolina was the “prevailing party” in the lawsuit, it could force the federal government to cover some of its expenses.

However, the vast majority of South Carolina’s expenses were attorney’s fees -- fees that the state cannot recoup from the federal government.

Most of the money – $3.4 million – went to Bancroft, LLC, the Washington, D.C.-based law firm of Paul D. Clement, a former solicitor general under George W. Bush and South Carolina’s lead attorney for the lawsuit. S.C. attorney Chris Coates collected $147,578.78 while $10,880 went to S.C. attorney Butch Bowers.

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