Election 2012

DON’T LET THE MAN GET YOU DOWN: Voter ID law breakdown

Not only is this year’s election important because of the candidates running and their platforms, but also because – for the first time in US history – state governments are implementing new voter identification laws that have new hurdles for those desiring to exercise their right to vote. Before every presidential election, you always hear about how important it is to ensure that everyone who is eligible to vote, be registered and get out to the polls on that very important day. For this year’s election, along with pushing to make sure everyone is registered and travels to the polls there is the concern of making sure that everyone under the age of 65 have an unexpired photo ID. This means that in certain states, citizens must take time from their day to stand in line, complete exhaustive forms, and prove residencies in an attempt to get a free Voter ID.
Though I despise the new voter laws, I am determined to inform everyone of the state specific laws and provide you with the information to show the secretaries of state that we are not going to let the requirement of photo identification stop us from voting on November 6.
So far, there are 13 US states that are requiring voters to present a form of photo identification when they arrive at the polling center this November. The reason is the topic for another post, but today I want to list for all of you the requirements of the states and steps to ensure you have your ID and are not prevented from exercising your right to vote. From the map above, you can see that those states in grey do not have any ID requirements to vote. They trust their citizens to be fair and just during the election. Those states that are blue have a non-photo ID law in place. The gold states have a non-strict photo ID law in place and the pale blue states have a strict photo ID law in place.
Many states have attempted to pass new photo ID laws, but were either deemed unconstitutional or require pre-clearance as stated in Section 5 of the Voters Right Act. Because pre-clearance applications have not been submitted or the state is waiting on a ruling of an appeal, older ID laws will be in effect for this year’s elections.
Through research I have discovered that there are strict and non-strict photo and non-photo ID requirements, and all states are different. States with strict ID requirements will allow a voter without ID to cast a provisional ballot that is kept from the regular ballots and are not counted until the voter returns to the polling location within a short period of time after the election presenting proper identification. If the voter does not return within the ballot window, their vote will never be counted. States enforcing the non-strict ID laws will give voters the chance to cast a regular ballot by permitting them to sign an affidavit of identity, or poll workers may be able to vouch for them if they know them personally.
Many states, if not all, are providing free Voter ID cards to those who do not have the typical documentation required to obtain a Non Driver’s License or a Driver’s License. If you do not have a copy of your birth certificate, a social security card, or a passport, the new Voter ID may be for you. Below I list every state and the ID requirements along with links to the state DMV, application to register to vote or change your address, and any other useful information to get you ready for the elections.
My advice to you is check your state, make sure you have what is required, and if you do not, complete the necessary application and go wait in line to get your ID. I know the lines may be long, but be patient. You do not have to pay for anything, you just have to give your time! I think a little time is worth making sure our country is not handed over without a fight.

Election 2012 Voter ID Laws

STATE VOTER ID LAW ID REQUIREMENTS NOTES
ALABAMA Non-photo
  • Government issued ID
  • US Passport
  • US Military ID
  • Employee ID with photo
  • AL college ID
  • AL hunting or fishing ID
  • AL gun permit
  • FAA issued pilot’s license
  • Birth certificate (certified copy)
  • Social security card
  • Naturalization document
  • Court record of adoption or name change
  • Medicaid/Medicare card
  • Electronic benefits transfer card
  • Utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck
  • Government document showing name and address
ALASKA Non-Strict Non-Photo
  • Official voter registration card
  • Driver’s license
  • Birth certificate
  • Passport
  • Hunting/fishing license
  • Utility bill, bank statement, paycheck or government check
  • Government document showing name and address
ARIZONA Strict Non-Photo (every voter must present an ID with name, address and photo or two forms of ID with name and address)
  • AZ driver’s license
  • AZ Non-driver’s license
  • Tribal enrollment card
  • US Federal/State/Local government issued ID
  • Utility bill dated within 90 days of the election
  • Bank or credit union statement dated within 90 days of the election
  • AZ vehicle registration
  • Indian census card
  • Property tax statement
  • Auto insurance card
  • Recorder’s certificate
If ID is not provided on election day, the voter must cast a provisional ballot and return to the polling location with proper ID by 5 PM on the 5th business day following the general election.
ARKANSAS Non-Strict Non-Photo
  • Current and valid photo ID
  • Current utility bill
  • Bank statement
  • Government check
  • Paycheck
  • Government document displaying name and address
COLORADO Non-Strict Non-Photo
  • CO driver’s license
  • CO Dept. of Revenue ID card
  • U.S. Passport
  • Employee ID card issued by the US government, CO state government, or a political subdivision of CO
  • Pilot’s license
  • Military ID with photo
  • Current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck
  • Government document displaying name and address
  • Medicare/Medicaid card
  • Certified copy of birth certificate
  • Certified document of naturalization
Without ID a voter must cast a provisional ballot.
CONNECTICUT Non-Strict Non-Photo
  • Social security card
  • Any other ID displaying name, address, and signature
DELAWARE Non-Strict Non-Photo
  • Photo ID
  • Utility bill
  • Paycheck
  • Government document with name and address
If a voter does not have proof of identity, he/she must sign an affidavit stating that he/she is the person listed on the election district record.
FLORIDA Non-Strict Photo
  • FL driver’s license
  • FL ID card issued by the Dept of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles
  • U.S. Passport
  • Debit or credit card
  • Military ID
  • Student ID
  • Retirement center ID
  • Neighborhood association ID
  • Public assistance ID
Without ID a voter must cast a provisional ballot and the signature on that ballot will be compared to the signature in the registration records. If they match, the vote will be counted.
GEORGIA Strict Photo
  • GA driver’s license
  • ID issued by GA or the Federal government
  • Free voter ID
  • U.S. Passport
  • Employee ID card with photo from any branch, department, agency, or entity of the US Government, GA, or any county
  • Military ID
  • Tribal photo ID
Without ID a voter must cast a provisional ballot and show proper ID at the county registrar’s office 3 days following the election.
HAWAII Non-Strict Photo
  • Any ID displaying a photo and signature
IDAHO Non-Strict Photo
  • ID driver’s license
  • Voter ID card
  • U.S. Passport
  • U.S. Government ID card with photo
  • Tribal ID w/ photo
  • Student ID w/ photo (can include high school or accredited institution within ID)
INDIANA Strict Photo ID must be issued by the state if IN or the U.S. Government and must show the following:

  • Name of voter
  • Photo
  • Expiration date
Voters who do not show photo ID may cast a provisional ballot and must return to the election board by 12 PM on the Monday following the election with proper ID. If the voter cannot get ID by the required date, he/she must sign an affidavit that they cannot obtain an ID because they are indigent or have a religious objection to being photographed.
KANSAS Strict Photo ID must be valid and display voter’s name and photo

  • KS driver’s license
  • State ID card
  • Government handgun/weapon license
  • U.S. Passport
  • Employee ID issued by a government office
  • Military ID
  • Student ID
  • Government public assistance ID
If a voter does not provide ID on election day, he/she must cast a provisional ballot. For the ballot to be counted, the voter must show proper ID to the county election officer in person/by mail before the meeting of the county board of canvassers.
KENTUCKY Non-Strict Non-Photo
  • Driver’s license
  • Social security card
  • Credit card
LOUISIANA Non-Strict Non-Photo
  • LA Driver’s license
  • LA special ID card
  • Other recognized photo ID
If a voter does not have ID he/she must sign an affidavit and provide ID using the voter registration card or stating his/her date of birth.
MICHIGAN Non-Strict Photo
  • Driver’s license from MI or another state
  • MI personal ID
  • Federal/State government ID
  • U.S. Passport
  • Military ID
  • Student ID
  • Tribal ID
If ID is not provided a voter must sign an affidavit stating that he/she does not have photo ID and will be allowed to cast a regular ballot.
MISSISSIPPI No ID law (voter ID law in this state was passed by the citizen initiative process, but has not been implemented yet)
  • Government issued photo ID
MISSOURI Non-Strict Non-Photo
  • Federal/State government ID
  • Driver’s license from MS or any other state
  • Student ID (from university or college)
  • Copy of current utility bill, bank statement, government check
  • Government document with name and address of voter
MONTANA Non-Strict Non-Photo
  • Driver’s license
  • School district/post secondary photo ID
  • Tribal photo ID
  • Utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, government check
  • Voter registration confirmation
  • Government document displaying name and address of voter
If ID presented is not sufficient, a voter may cast a provisional ballot and sign the precinct register. That signature will be compared to the voter’s registration file before the vote can be counted.
NEW HAMPSHIRE Non-Strict Photo
  • Driver’s license (NH or any other state)
  • Any photo ID from the DMV
  • Military ID
  • U.S. Passport
  • Federal/State/County/Municipal ID
  • Student ID
NORTH DAKOTA Non-Strict Non-Photo
  • Valid driver’s license
  • Valid state ID
  • U.S. Passport
  • Federal agency ID card
  • Student ID
  • Military ID
  • Utility bill dated 30 days prior to election day showing name and address of voter
  • USPS Change of Address letter
Without ID, the voter may cast a regular ballot if a poll worker can vouch for his/her identity.
OHIO Strict Non-Photo
  • U.S. Government photo ID
  • Utility bill
  • Bank statement
  • Government check, paycheck
  • Government document showing name and address

OKLAHOMA Non-Strict Non-Photo All IDs must show “proof of identity” to be accepted on election day. Proof must satisfy the following:

  • Name
  • Photo
  • Have an expiration date
  • Was issued by the U.S, state of OK, or a federally recognized Indian tribe or nation
Voter registration card is an accepted form of ID.
PENNSYLVANIA Strict Photo Acceptable ID must show the following:

  • Name
  • Photo
  • Be issued by the U.S. government, Commonwealth of PA, municipality of the Commonwealth, an accredited PA private or public institution, or a PA care facility
  • Display an expiration date (Military IDs hold an exception as well as Driver’s licenses or Non-driver’s licenses that are 12 months past the expiration date)
A voter without proper ID must cast a provisional ballot. Six days following the election the voter must (i) appear in person to the county board of elections to sign an affidavit and show proper ID, or (ii) submit an electronic, fax, or paper copy of the affidavit and the proof of ID.
RHODE ISLAND Non-Strict Non-Photo (Photo ID will be implemented January 2014)
  • RI Driver’s license
  • RI voter ID
  • U.S. Passport
  • Student ID
  • Military ID
  • Government/State issued ID
  • Government issued medical card
If ID is not provided on election day, the voter must cast a provisional ballot. The vote will be counted once the signature on the ballot matches that in the precinct records.
SOUTH CAROLINA Strict Non-Photo
  • Voter registration
  • SC driver’s license
  • SC DMV photo ID
SOUTH DAKOTA Non-Strict Photo
  • SD driver’s license/non-driver’s license
  • U.S. Passport
  • U.S. Government photo ID
  • Tribal ID w/ photo
  • Student ID w/ photo
TENNESSEE Strict Photo
  • TN driver’s license
  • Valid State photo ID
  • TN Dept of Safety ID
  • U.S. Passport
  • Military ID
  • Gun permit card w/ photo
If a voter does not have valid ID he/she must cast a provisional ballot and provide proper ID to the Administrator of Elections 2 business days following the election.
TEXAS Strict Non-Photo (TX was denied pre-clearance of the photo ID law)
  • Voter registration
  • Driver’s license
  • Department of Public Safety ID
  • Any form of ID with photo
  • Birth certificate
  • U.S. citizenship papers
  • U.S. Passport
  • Official mail addressed to voter from a government agency
  • Current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck
  • Government document displaying name and address
  • Any form of ID prescribed by the Secretary of State
UTAH Non-Strict Non-Photo
  • UT driver’s license
  • Valid ID from the state or federal government
  • UT concealed weapon permit
  • U.S. Passport
  • Military ID
  • Bureau of Indian Affairs card
  • Tribal treaty card
  • Tribal ID
  • Two forms of ID that display the voter’s name and address
VIRGINIA Strict Non-Photo
  • Voter registration card
  • Social security card
  • VA driver’s license
  • Government ID
  • Employee ID with photo
  • Student ID
  • Utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck
  • Concealed handgun permit
If a voter does not have proper ID on election day, he/she must cast a provisional ballot. To have the ballot counted, the voter must submit a copy of their ID to the electoral board by fax, email, mail or in person by 12 PM on the 3rd day following the election.
WASHINGTON Non-Strict Non-Photo
  • Driver’s license
  • Student ID
  • State ID
  • Tribal ID
  • Voter registration
  • Utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, government check
  • Government document displaying name and address
WISCONSIN No voter ID (the photo ID law was deemed unconstitutional in WS)
  • Driver’s license
  • Military ID
  • Non-Driver’s license
  • U.S. Passport
  • Certificate of naturalization (must be issued 2 years or less from the date of the election)
  • Tribal Id
  • Student ID


First things first, if you are not registered to vote, please complete this application before moving on to any other step.

Another thing, you cannot apply for a free voter ID unless you have no access to your birth certificate, any other form of photo ID or a social security card.

I. GEORGIA

Documents needed to apply for a free voter ID:

  • Photo ID or non-photo ID displaying name and date of birth of voter
  • Proof that you are registered to vote or in the process of registering
  • Document showing name and date of birth

Useful links:

County Registrar http://sos.georgia.gov/cgi-bin/countyregistrarsindex.asp

DDS http://www.dds.ga.gov/

II. INDIANA

Documents needed must show proof of:

  • Identity
  • Lawful status in the U.S.
  • Indiana residency
  • Social security number

Useful links:

Acceptable proof for a voter ID http://www.in.gov/bmv/files/SecureID_Documents_List.pdf

BMV Branch locator http://www.in.gov/bmv/2337.htm

III. KANSAS

Documents needed must prove:

  • Identity
  • Residency
  • Voter registration

To get a voter ID in Kansas, a voter must complete the voter waiver form and sign an affidavit that you do not have access to documentation to obtain a photo ID (both links below). If a birth certificate is unavailable, the voter must also apply for a free copy of his/her birth certificate (link below).

Useful links:

Voter ID waiver form http://www.ksrevenue.org/pdf/DE-VID1.pdf

Birth certificate application http://www.kdheks.gov/vital/download/birth_fillable.pdf

Affidavithttp://www.gotvoterid.com/pdf/BCA.pdf

IV. PENNSYLVANIA

Documents needed:

  • Form DL-54A (Voter ID Application)
  • Social security card
  • Birth certificate with a raised seal/Certificate of Naturalization/U.S. Passport
  • Two proofs of residency
  • Affirmation form

Useful links:

Form DL-54A http://www.dmv.state.pa.us/pdotforms/dl_forms/dl-54a.pdf

Affirmation Formhttp://www.dmv.state.pa.us/pdotforms/voterid/VoterAffirmationNoProofofID.pdf

PennDOT Info http://www.dmv.state.pa.us/voter/voteridlaw.shtml

Birth certificate application (if a raised seal copy is unavailable) http://www.seventy.org/Downloads/HD01564F_Birth_Record_Request.pdf

V. RHODE ISLAND

To obtain a free voter ID in Rhode Island, a voter must present one of the following:

  • Employee ID
  • Military ID
  • Debit or credit card
  • Student ID
  • Insurance plan ID
  • Health club ID

If you do not have any of the above IDs you can provide a bank statement or rental lease. Click here to see the full list of alternate documentation.

Useful links: **Check the “Where to get a free ID ” link because there are specific dates and times to get a voter ID.

Secretary of State information page http://sos.ri.gov/elections/voterid/card/

Where to get a free voter ID http://sos.ri.gov/elections/voterid/schedule/

VI. TENNESSEE

To get a free ID, a voter must be registered to vote, show proof of citizenship, and proof of residency (utility bill, vehicle registration, or bank statement) and complete an affidavit that documentation to get a driver’s license is unavailable.

Useful links:

Affidavit http://www.tn.gov/safety/affidavit.pdf

Driver service center map http://www.tn.gov/safety/driverlicense/dlmap2.shtml

Note: Driver License Reinstatement Center on Murfreesboro Road in Davidson County is not providing free voter IDs.


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