It used to be a given, a basic right of citizenship. These days when you ask that question: Am I Ready to Vote? the answer may be:
Why New Photo ID Laws Mean Some Won't Vote
by Corey Dade, NPR.org -- Jan 28, 2012
You may be Registered to Vote -- you think -- BUT still unprepared -- legally speaking.
Because your State Laws may have changed. Here's the Gotcha, lying in wait:
When you SHOW UP show up to vote, you find out that you don't have the "right ID". Sorry!
Generally speaking, you will need a valid [ie non-expired] government-issued ID, with your FULL NAME, and usually a Photo of yourself on the ID, to boot.
Don't drive anymore -- Sorry! ... Just catch 4 Buses to that DMV anyways, okay?
God help you, if you got married and changed your name -- Does your Birth Certificate name match your Marriage Certificate name, match your Photo ID Name?
NO!? Honk -- No Voting for you! Sorry!
You could be one of few dozen people charged with "Voter Fraud," in the last decade. Not simply someone caught in a web of imperfect paperwork, in an imperfect government bureaucracy. That could never happen, could it?
It depends on what state you live in -- whether you end up being less well-prepared than others.
Voter-ID Laws have changed. What used to be simple, is now more complicated.
Get prepared. Be Ready. Help your friends and family be ready too.
Here is a site, designed to help you GET PREPARED:
Check to see if you are registered. It's easy. Click this link: canivote.org, Select your State, fill-in the form.
Realize: When people move (or if you miss an election or two) -- Registration records get "updated" and sometimes you find out too late, that you thought you were registered to Vote, but turns out YOUR registration record got purged somehow, by some clerk somewhere, or by a governor's "file cleaning" directive.
Don't be denied YOUR basic American Rights -- FIND OUT: IF your state will STILL let you vote. ... Find out if you will have the "right ID" when you show up to vote next time.
Then find out if the seniors in your life (and students) will be ready to Vote too. How about those Metro-bound folks you know?
It's far better to be Safe -- than Sorry!
Here is a summary of some of the states with strict new ID policies, regarding who can and who cannot Vote, as conveniently consolidated on that website: canivote.org
Don't become a victim of GOP's "Fraud Prevention" maze. Don't let your friends and family be denied their basic right as citizens, either. Get informed about YOUR state. Take preemptive action, if needed. Preserve your rights, while you still have the time.
Here's a summary of what's NOW needed (for some selected states) -- to be legally-identifiable when you show up to vote this year:
[Note: if your state's not listed -- please research it, and add the New ID requirements in the comments. Thank you.]
------ AL ------
Following is a list of acceptable forms of identification under this new law. Each voter should ensure that he or she has one form of identification available when he or she goes to vote.
A. Current, Valid Photo Identification
Government-issued photo identifications (current and valid)
Employee identification for employee with photo of employee produced by the employer
Photo identification card issued by Alabama college or university
Photo identification issued from Alabama technical or professional school (current and valid)
B. One of the following
Utility bill of voter with voter's name and address
Bank statement with voter's name and address
Government check with voter's name and address
Paycheck with voter's name and address
Valid identification card (authorized by law) issued by the State of Alabama (including any branch, department, agency, or entity of the State of Alabama)
Valid identification card (authorized by law) issued by any of the other 49 states (including any branch, department, agency, or entity of that State)
Valid identification card (authorized by law) issued by the government of the United States of America (including any branch, department, agency, or entity of the federal government
Valid United States passport
Valid Alabama hunting license
Valid Alabama fishing license
Valid Alabama pistol/revolver permit
Valid pilot's license issued by the FAA or other authorized agency of the federal government
Valid United States military identification
Birth certificate (certified copy)
Valid Social Security card
Naturalization document (certified copy)
Court record of adoption (certified copy)
Court record of name change (certified copy)
Valid Medicaid card
Valid Medicare card
Valid electronic benefits transfer (EBT) card
Government document that shows the name and address of the voter
------ AZ ------
The following is a list of acceptable documents to establish your citizenship:
A legible photocopy of a birth certificate that verifies citizenship and supporting legal documentation (i.e. marriage certificate) if the name on the birth certificate is not the same as your current legal name
A legible photocopy of the pertinent pages of your passport
Presentation to the County Recorder of U.S. naturalization documents or fill in your Alien Registration Number in box 11
Your Indian Census Number, Bureau of Indian Affairs Card Number, Tribal Treaty Card Number, or Tribal Enrollment Number in box 10
A legible photocopy of your Tribal Certificate of Indian Blood or Tribal or Bureau of Indian Affairs Affidavit of Birth.
If you are registered in Arizona and use the registration form because you move within a county, change your name, or change your political party affiliation, you do not need to provide photocopies of proof of citizenship. If you move to a different Arizona county, you will need to provide proof of citizenship.
------ AR ------
If you are registering to vote by mail:
You must provide either your driver's license number or the last four digits of your Social Security number on your Arkansas Voter Registration Application, or check the box in #7 on the application to indicate that you do not possess either a driver's license or Social Security number.
If you check the box indicating that you do not possess either a driver's license or Social Security number, you may be required to vote a Provisional Ballot when you vote for the first time unless you submit a photocopy of one of the following with your mail-in application or at the time of voting:
* Current and valid photo identification, or
* A copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check or paycheck that shows your name and address, or
* Another government document that shows your name and address
------ CO ------
Please note, a Social Security number (or last four digits) is not a legal form of identification for voting in person. Additionally, if any form of identification listed below shows your address, that address must be in the state of Colorado to be valid.
The following are acceptable forms of identification:
(a) A valid Colorado driver’s license;
(b) A valid identification card issued by the Department of Revenue in accordance with the requirements of Part 3 of Article 2 of Title 42, C.R.S.;
(c) A valid U.S. passport;
(d) A valid employee identification card with a photograph of the eligible elector issued by any branch, department, agency, or entity of the United States government or of this state, or by any county, municipality, board, authority, or other political subdivision of this state;
(e) A valid pilot’s license issued by the federal aviation administration or other authorized agency of the United States;
(f) A valid U.S. military identification card with a photograph of the eligible elector;
(g) A copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document that shows the name and address of the elector. For example:
(I) A cable bill or telephone bill,
(II) Documentation from a public institution of higher education in Colorado containing at least the name, date of birth, and legal residence address of the student elector,
(III) A paycheck from a government institution or private company, or
(IV) A Certificate of Degree of Indian or Alaskan Native Blood.
(h) A valid Medicare or Medicaid card issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (formerly the United States Health Care Financing Administration);
(i) A certified copy of a U.S. birth certificate for the elector issued in the United States;
(j) Certified documentation of naturalization;
(k) A valid student identification card with a photograph of the eligible elector issued by an institute of higher education in Colorado, as defined in section 23-3.1-102(5), C.R.S.;
(l) A valid veteran identification card issued by the United States department of veterans affairs veterans health administration with a photograph of the eligible elector.
(m) A valid identification card issued by a federally recognized tribal government certifying tribal membership.
------ FL ------
At the polls, you will be asked to provide a valid picture identification with signature. The following photo ids will be accepted:
* Florida driver's license
* Florida identification card issued by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles
* United States passport
* Debit or credit card
* Military identification
* Student identification
* Retirement center identification
* Neighborhood association identification
* Public assistance identification.
If your photo identification does not contain your signature, you will be asked to provide an additional identification that includes a signature.
------ GA ------
What IDs are acceptable?
* Any valid state or federal government issued photo ID, including a FREE Voter ID Card issued by your county registrar's office or the Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS)
* A Georgia Driver's License, even if expired
* Valid employee photo ID from any branch, department, agency, or entity of the U.S. Government, Georgia, or any county, municipality, board, authority or other entity of this state
* Valid U.S. passport ID
* Valid U.S. military photo ID
* Valid tribal photo ID
Georgia's Voter Identification Card
If you do not have one of the six acceptable forms of photo ID, the State of Georgia offers a FREE Voter Identification Card. An identification card can be issued at any county registrar's office or Department of Driver Services Office free of charge.
[Note: as of July 1, 2012, GA has updated their Driver ID requirements. H/T to jadt65.]
------ IA ------
Proof of ID
If you do not have an Iowa driver’s license, you may use a photo ID that is current, valid, and contain an expiration date. The following are acceptable IDs:
* Iowa non-driver ID card
* Out-of-state driver's license or non-driver ID card
* U.S. passport
* U.S. military ID
* ID card issued by employer
* Student ID issued by Iowa high school or college
------ ID ------
Present a photo ID or sign a Personal Identification Affidavit
Acceptable forms of photo identification include any one of the following:
* An Idaho driver’s license or photo Identification Card.
* A U.S. passport or Federal photo identification card.
* A tribal photo identification card.
* A current student photo ID, issued by an Idaho high school or post secondary education institution.
A poll worker must verify that the picture on the ID matches the voter.
The name on the ID must also match the name on the voter registration list in the poll book. Common abbreviations and nicknames are acceptable. However, a name change requires the voter to re-register.
If you don’t have a Driver’s License, you can use an Idaho Identification card to vote.
The Department of Transportation issues Idaho Identification cards. Check their website for locations and a list of documents you may need to present.
------ IN ------
Your photo ID must meet 4 criteria to be acceptable for voting purposes. It Must:
1. Display your photo
2. Display your name, and the name must conform to your voter registration record. Conform does not mean identical. Below are examples of names that would conform to "Robert John Crew"
* Robert John Crew
* Robert J. Crew
* Robert Crew
* R. John Crew
* R. J. Crew
* Bob John Crew
* Bob J. Crew
* Bob Crew
* John Crew
* J. Crew
3. Display an expiration date and either be current or have expired sometime after the date of the last General Election (November 2, 2010)
* NOTE: An ID issued by the US Department of Defense, a branch of the uniformed services, the Merchant Marine, or the Indiana National Guard is not required to have an expiration date, or may state that the document has an "Indefinite" expiration date.
4. Be issued by the State of Indiana or the U.S. government
In most cases, an Indiana driver license, Indiana photo ID card, Military ID or U.S. Passport is sufficient.
------ KA ------
Voting in Kansas is easier than ever. With advance voting, any registered voter can vote by mail or in person before Election Day.
* Advance voting application
------ LA ------
Online Voter Registration
You must have a valid Louisiana driver’s license number or Louisiana special ID card and a residence address in Louisiana to register or make changes to your existing registration online.
If registering to vote and if a Louisiana driver’s license number or Louisiana special ID card number has not been issued, you may complete the online form, print the form and submit the form by mail to the Registrar of Voters in the parish in which you reside.
You must provide at least the last four digits of your social security number, if issued. The full social security number may be provided on a voluntary basis.
If neither a Louisiana driver’s license, a Louisiana special ID card , or a social security number have been issued, and the form is submitted by mail, and you are registering to vote for the first time, in order to avoid additional identification requirements for first time voters, attach either
1) a copy of a current and valid photo identification or
2) a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document that shows your name and address.
------ MI ------
A Guide to Voter Identification at the Polls
Due to a recent court ruling, every Michigan voter must present picture identification at the polls, or sign an affidavit attesting that he or she is not in possession of picture identification.
Prepare for Election Day
Remember to bring an acceptable form of photo identification to the polls on Election Day. If you don't have photo ID you can still vote (see Voting Without Photo ID below).
Your photo ID does not need to have your address on it. In addition, the name on your identification card may be a shorter form of your name. For example, "Bill" for "William" and "Kathy" for "Katherine" are acceptable.
After showing your photo ID to the poll worker and signing the application, you may cast your ballot.
Voting Without Photo ID
If you do not have photo ID, you can still cast a ballot simply by signing an affidavit. The affidavit can be used by:
* Voters who do not have acceptable photo ID
* Voters who have photo ID but didn't bring it to the polls
Once you sign the affidavit, you may cast your ballot. It will be counted with all other ballots on Election Day.
Getting a State ID Card
If you do not have a driver's license or other acceptable photo identification, you can get a state identification card at your local Secretary of State branch office for $10.Voters who do not possess either document may show any of the following forms of picture ID as long as it is current:
* Driver’s license or personal ID card issued by another state.
* Federal or state government-issued photo ID.
* U.S. passport.
* Military identification card with photo.
* Student identification with photo from a high school or an accredited institution of higher education.
* Tribal identification card with photo.
Search by Voter Registration
------ MN ------
In Minnesota, you may register at least 21 days before Election Day or on Election Day at your polling place.
Your registration remains current until you move, change your name, or do not vote for four consecutive years. You may update your registration information by completing another Voter Registration Application.
* will be at least 18-years-old on Election Day
* are a citizen of the United States
* will have resided in Minnesota for 20 days immediately preceding Election Day
* have any felony conviction record discharged, expired, or completed
* are not under court-ordered guardianship where a court has revoked your voting rights
have not been ruled legally incompetent by a court of law
[Note: New Photo ID Laws are currently being considered by MN Legislature.]
------ MS ------
If you do not have a driver’s license or social security number, and this form is submitted by mail,
and you have never registered to vote in the county you are now registering in, you must send, with this application, either
a) a copy of current and valid photo identification, or
b) a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document that shows the name and address of the voter.
If you do not provide the information requested above, you may be required to provide to election officials either (a) or (b) above the first time you vote after January 1, 2004 at a voting place or by absentee ballot.
------ MO ------
Acceptable forms of Vote ID:
* Identification issued by the state of Missouri, an agency of the state, or a local election authority of the state
* Identification issued by the United States government or agency thereof
* Identification issued by an institution of higher education, including a university, college, vocational and technical school, located within the state of Missouri
* A copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, government check or other government document that contains the name and address of the voter
* Driver's license or state identification card issued by another state
If you do not possess any of these forms of identification, you may still cast a ballot if two supervising election judges, one from each major political party, attest they know you.
View a sample list of acceptable forms of identification.
------ MT ------
You must provide your Montana driver’s license or Montana ID number when you register. If you do not have a Montana driver’s license, you will need to provide the last 4 digits of your Social Security number. If you have neither number, you will need to provide another form of identification.
You will need to provide a residence address or specific geographic location information from which your residence address may be determined . The residence address must be in the county in which you are registering.
The deadline for regular registration is 30 days before any election. If you miss that deadline, you can still register and vote in the election by late registering at your county election office.
------ NH ------
I. When determining the qualifications of an applicant, the supervisors of the checklist, or the town or city clerk, shall require the applicant to present proof of citizenship, age, and domicile, as provided in the following categories:
(a) CITIZENSHIP. The supervisors of the checklist, or the town or city clerk, shall accept from the applicant any one of the following as proof of citizenship:
the applicant's birth certificate, passport, naturalization papers if the applicant is a naturalized citizen, a qualified voter affidavit,
or any other reasonable documentation which indicates the applicant is a United States citizen.
The qualified voter affidavit shall be in the following form, and shall be retained in accordance with RSA 33-A:3-a
------ NV ------
Online Voter Registration
Residents of eligible counties may now register to vote and update voter registration information online, including change of address and party affiliation. A DMV issued ID is required.
The following counties are eligible for online voter registration: Clark, Churchill, Elko, Eureka, Humboldt, Lyon, Pershing and Washoe
Click the "Online Voter Registration" banner below to register to vote online.
Voter Registration Form
If you do not reside in an online voter registration eligible county, click here to access the Secretary of State's Online Fillable Voter Registration Form and follow three simple steps:
Print the form.
Fill out the form legibly and don't forget to sign it.
Mail or Deliver in person the form to the county clerk or registrar in your county.
------ OH ------
Notice to All Voters -- (R.C. 3503.28(A)(6))
“Voters must bring identification to the polls in order to verify identity.
Identification may include
* a current and valid photo identification;
* a military identification, or
* a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document, other than a notice of election or a voter registration notification sent by a board of elections, that shows the voter’s name and current address.
Voters who do not provide one of these documents will still be able to vote by providing the last four digits of the voter’s social security number and by casting a provisional ballot.
Voters who do not have any of these forms of identification, including a social security number, will still be able to vote by signing an affirmation swearing to the voter’s identity under penalty of election falsification and by casting a provisional ballot.”
------ PA ------
Voters will be required to show an acceptable photo ID on Election Day. All photo IDs must contain an expiration date that is current, unless noted otherwise. Acceptable IDs include:
* Photo IDs issued by the U.S. Federal Government or the Commonwealth of PennsylvaniaIf you do not have one of these IDs, and require one for voting purposes, you may be entitled to get one FREE OF CHARGE at a PennDOT Driver License Center. To find the Driver License Center nearest you, and learn what supporting documentation you will need to get a photo ID visit PennDOT's Voter ID Website or call the Department of State's Voter ID Hotline at 1-877-VotesPA (868-3772).
* PA Driver’s License or Non-driver’s License photo ID (IDs are valid for voting purposes 12 months past expiration date)
* Valid U.S. passport
* U.S. military ID -- active duty and retired military (a military or veteran’s ID must designate an expiration date or designate that the expiration date is indefinite). Military dependents’ ID must contain an expiration date
* Employee photo ID issued by Federal, PA, PA County or PA Municipal government
* Photo ID from an accredited PA public or private institution of higher learning, including colleges, universities, seminaries, community colleges and other two-year colleges
* Photo ID issued by a PA care facility, including long-term care facilities, assisted living residences or personal care homes
------ RI ------
Beginning this year, poll workers will ask you to show a current and valid ID when you vote at your polling place. Voter ID strengthens the public’s faith in the integrity of our elections by enabling poll workers to match a voter’s face to the name they give at the polls.
Protecting your vote:
* We will provide a free Voter ID to voters who don't already have a current and valid Photo ID
* No eligible voter will be turned away at the polls. Voters who do not bring an acceptable ID to their polling place can vote using a standard Provisional Ballot. The ballot will be counted if the signature they give at their polling place matches the signature on their voter registration
* Voter ID will be phased in over two election cycles. In 2012 and 2013, voters can also use a variety of non-photo IDs including a Social Security or Medicare card. Beginning in 2014, only Photo IDs will be accepted at the polls
* Mail ballots do not require ID
------ SC ------
Voters need to be familiar with the voting day procedures at the polls before they arrive to vote. Voters will be required to show any one of three forms of identification in order to vote:
* Voter registration card
* Driver’s license
* Picture identification card issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles
Voters who registered to vote by mail after January 1, 2004, were required to submit a form of identification with the voter registration application, including a copy of a valid photo ID or a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck or other government document that shows the voter’s name and address in the county. Voters who did not submit a form of ID with the mail-in voter registration application will be required to show an additional form of ID at the polls in addition to their voter registration card.
------ SD ------
Voter Registration Verification: HAVA requires that each new voter registration be verified. South Dakota established a computer network to do this verification beginning in January 2004. Each voter registration is compared to felon records, death records, and drivers license or social security records to ensure that each registrant is eligible to vote in South Dakota. This verification process has prevented nearly 100 convicted felons from illegally registering to vote.South Dakota Driver License Number Required:
(if you do not have a valid South Dakota driver license, you must give the last four numbers of your social security number)
Search by Voter Registration
------ TN ------
Identification Requirements for First-Time Voters
That Registered by Mail*
ANYONE of the following items:
A current VOTER REGISTRATION CARD
A current TENNESSEE DRIVER’S LICENSE
A PHOTO ID which includes the voter’s name and signature
------ TX ------
1. When does the new photo identification law (Senate Bill 14) go into effect?
Subject to U.S. Justice Department approval of a photo identification law passed by the Texas Legislature in 2011, the new photo identification requirements will become effective on January 1, 2012.
2. What kind of identification will be required to qualify to vote in person under the new program?
A voter will be required to show one of the following forms of photo identification at the polling location before the voter will be permitted to cast a vote.
* Texas Driver’s License issued by the Department of Public Safety (“DPS”)
* Texas Election Identification Certificate issued by DPS;
* Texas Personal Identification Card issued by DPS;
* Texas Concealed Handgun License issued by DPS;
* United States Military Identification Card containing the person’s photograph;
* United States Citizenship Certificate containing the person’s photograph; or
* United States Passport.
With the exception of the U.S. citizenship certificate, the identification must be current or have expired no more than 60 days before being presented for voter qualification at the polling place.
Search by Voter Registration
------ VA ------
Virginia's ID requirements also apply to absentee voters who vote in-person. Please see below in "Special Federal ID Requirements for Certain First Time Voters" for other potential special cases for first-time voters.
Acceptable forms of identification include the following:
* Virginia voter identification card
* Valid Virginia driver's license
* Military ID
* Any Federal, Virginia state or local government-issued ID
* Employer issued photo ID card
* Concealed handgun permit
* Valid student ID issued by any institution of higher education located in the Commonwealth of Virginia
* Current utility bill, bank statement, government check or paycheck indicating the name and address of the voter
* Social Security card (*please see below as the social security card does not satisfy special federal ID requirements)
A voter who does not bring an acceptable ID to the polls will be offered a provisional ballot.
------ WI ------
Photo ID Required to Vote
Beginning in 2012, a photo ID is required upon voting before a ballot is issued to voters. The purpose of photo ID is to verify the identity of the voter.
Pennsylvania also gives out this IMPORTANT advice -- just in case you have NOT dotted all your i's or crossed all those legal t's ...
What to Bring -- Votes PA
Due to Pennsylvania's new Voter ID Law, citizens voting at their polling location are required to bring and show an acceptable photo ID before casting their ballot. If you do not bring your ID on Election Day, vote with a provisional ballot. Don’t leave without voting!ASK FOR a Provisional Ballot -- Don't leave your Polling Place without one (if for "some reason" they won't let you vote in person.)
And if you're already set with you photo id and have VERIFIED your valid current Registration, why not consider ...
Why not consider being a poll worker? Every state needs volunteers to help on Election Day, and in most states you get paid for working. Select your state, city, or county from the drop down menu below to find out how to sign up.
Remember democracy is a people-driven process. But more and more it's becoming a Court-driven and Legislatively-driven obstacle course too, sad to say.
People cannot simply assume our basic rights will always just be there ... because the more we assume, the less they actually are ... legally speaking.
---------- ---------- ---------- ---------- ----------
For a comprehensive and to-the-point List of where to check your registration
check out the following post:
by Late Again -- Aug 09, 2012