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.
|STATE||VOTER ID LAW||ID REQUIREMENTS||NOTES|
|ARIZONA||Strict Non-Photo (every voter must present an ID with name, address and photo or two forms of ID with name and address)||
||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.|
||Without ID a voter must cast a provisional ballot.|
||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.|
||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.|
||Without ID a voter must cast a provisional ballot and show proper ID at the county registrar’s office 3 days following the election.|
|INDIANA||Strict Photo||ID must be issued by the state if IN or the U.S. Government and must show the following:
||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
||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.|
||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.|
||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)||
||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||
|NORTH DAKOTA||Non-Strict Non-Photo||
||Without ID, the voter may cast a regular ballot if a poll worker can vouch for his/her identity.|
|OKLAHOMA||Non-Strict Non-Photo||All IDs must show “proof of identity” to be accepted on election day. Proof must satisfy the following:
||Voter registration card is an accepted form of ID.|
|PENNSYLVANIA||Strict Photo||Acceptable ID must show the following:
||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)||
||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||
|SOUTH DAKOTA||Non-Strict 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)||
||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.|
|WISCONSIN||No voter ID (the photo ID law was deemed unconstitutional in WS)||
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.
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
County Registrar http://sos.georgia.gov/cgi-bin/countyregistrarsindex.asp
Documents needed must show proof of:
- Lawful status in the U.S.
- Indiana residency
- Social security number
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
Documents needed must prove:
- 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).
Voter ID waiver form http://www.ksrevenue.org/pdf/DE-VID1.pdf
Birth certificate application http://www.kdheks.gov/vital/download/birth_fillable.pdf
- 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
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/
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.
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.