Frequently Asked Questions About Voter ID
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by VoteRiders Voter Center | 5.7.18
Check out these FAQ about voter ID, and share!
Frequently Asked Questions About Voter ID
Originally published on VoteRiders
The short answer is no. There are about 20 million eligible American voters who lack unexpired photo ID with their current legal name. In addition, voter ID laws in each state vary as to what kind of IDs are accepted at the polls, so even citizens with IDs aren't always able to vote.
- Learn more about the specific groups of voters most at risk of not having acceptable ID to vote, and why.
- Read stories about voters who got help from VoteRiders to secure ID and exercise their right to vote.
Across the country, VoteRiders is bringing voter ID education and assistance to voters in cooperation with our on-the-ground Partner Organizations.
VoteRiders offers free assistance for any eligible voter who encounters barriers to securing his or her ID to vote, including financial and legal help obtaining underlying documents like birth certificates, legal change of name documentation, etc. Please call our toll-free Voter ID Hotline: 844-338-8743 or contact us.
Just as important, we are giving voters who already have ID the confidence that they have everything they need to make sure their vote counts. Our National Voter ID Hotline - 844-338-8743 - is available for voters in any state, providing expert information and assistance with any issue related to voter ID. We have published convenient wallet-sized Voter ID Information Cards for EVERY STATE including DC, which provide a concise guide to what forms of ID are accepted for voting in each state, and what to do if you don't have one of these forms of ID.
Visit our Get Your Voter ID page to confirm you have a current, valid, acceptable form of voter ID. Also, check with your local, county or state elections board/registrar/clerk NOW to make sure the name and address on your ID are the same as those listed in your voter registration records.
VoteRiders is a non-partisan, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to ensure that all citizens are able to exercise their right to vote. Our tax ID EIN is 45-5081831. We are participants in GuideStar’s Bronze Certification program, meeting the highest standards of transparency and good practice in nonprofit financial management. In 2016, our generous Board of Directors and Board of Trustees covered 100% of VoteRiders' administrative and fundraising expenses (just 12.8% of our overall expenses), so every penny of contributions from regular donors like you went directly to voter assistance and education programs.
Your tax deductible contribution will help VoteRiders provide free voter ID information and assistance to eligible voters in every state. VoteRiders offers educational, financial and legal resources to help voters secure ID to vote, including funding for documents such as a certified copy of their birth certificate. Funding also goes towards providing training and materials for Partner Organizations to help them reach their communities with voter ID education and assistance. Learn more about how your donation to VoteRiders will help ensure the right to vote for all eligible citizens.
Check out our list of ways YOU can help ensure eligible citizens have the identification they need in order to vote! You can talk to your neighbors and loved ones and make sure they have the ID they need to vote, and offer them a ride to the DMV office if they need to renew or obtain an ID that is valid for voting. If you have any questions or require assistance, call our toll-free Voter ID Hotline: 844-338-8743.
You can also make a 100% tax deductible donation to VoteRiders to ensure that we can continue to provide free voter ID information and assistance for any eligible voter.
People are massively confused - in every state. They do not understand that voter ID is different from, and in addition to, voter registration. In most states, it’s not enough to register to vote. You also need an acceptable ID under your state’s voter ID law.
The states run their own elections, so every state’s law is different.
Every state except North Dakota has a voter registration law. Voter registration laws usually require some kind of proof of residency. For a voter to vote in any election, all states except Kansas currently require that a voter attest, under penalty of perjury, that he or she is a citizen of the United States. Kansas, Arizona, Georgia and Alabama have enacted laws that require proof of citizenship to register to vote. Only Kansas is enforcing this law against certain voters; however, the state is continuing to battle federal and state court challenges to the law.
State-by-state information on ID requirements for voting can be found on VoteRiders’ Voter ID page. These voter ID laws range from STRICT (i.e., a voter must show a valid ID under their state’s law in order to cast a regular ballot) to NON-STRICT (i.e., a range of ways a state may require, or poll workers may request, specified types of IDs). State voter ID laws vary in whether they allow only photo IDs, or a mix of photo and non-photo IDs. The only types of identification that are common to all states are that state driver’s license or non-driver’s license state ID, which must be current, i.e., non-expired.
If a poll worker determines a voter does not have a valid ID to vote, such voter should be given a provisional ballot. Whether such ballot will count depends on that state’s law. In some cases, such as Florida, the voter’s signature on the provisional ballot envelope will be compared with the voter registration signature in the state’s records; if the signatures are determined to match, the ballot will be counted. In many states, in order for the provisional ballot to count, the voter must bring acceptable identification under the voter ID law to the county clerk’s or other specified office within a specified period of time, for example, two to six days. For first-time voters in a voting district or county in states, there is also a federal ID requirement to register to vote. VoteRiders’ Voter ID Info wallet cards for the states without a state voter ID law, such as California, show what kind of identification is required.
Though we acknowledge the restrictive nature of some states' voter ID laws, as a non-partisan organization, VoteRiders does not address the politics and policy considerations of the voter ID issue. There are many groups fighting voter ID laws in courts and legislatures across the county, but we are not one of them. What we care about and strive toward is that every eligible voter will be able to vote. VoteRiders focus is very practical: help citizens get their voter IDs by meeting the requirements of their respective state’s law. Read more...
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