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Legislation

Voter ID Laws Passed Since 2011

Alabama, Kansas, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin all passed new voter ID laws in their 2011 or 2012 legislative sessions. We’ve compiled their vital details on each new law in this document.

Published: November 12, 2013

SUMMARY OF VOTER ID LAWS PASSED 

Alabama, Kansas, Missis­sippi, New Hamp­shire, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Caro­lina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Wiscon­sin all passed new voter ID laws in their 2011, 2012, or 2013 legis­lat­ive sessions.  For each state, this memor­andum provides: a brief descrip­tion of the substance of the new law; its effect­ive date; the types of photo IDs accep­ted; excep­tions to the ID require­ment, if any; any affi­davit altern­at­ive to provid­ing a photo ID; the photo ID require­ments for early and absentee voting, if any; provi­sions relat­ing to obtain­ing free ID; and public educa­tion require­ments.[1]

Down­load this docu­ment as a PDF.


  • Alabama
  • Arkan­sas
  • Kansas
  • Missis­sippi
  • North Caro­lina
  • North Dakota
  • New Hamp­shire
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Caro­lina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Virginia
  • Wiscon­sin

ALABAMA

Effect­ive Date: The law was passed, but it is not currently in effect. By its terms, the law would not take effect until 2014.

Photo IDs Permit­ted

Prior to voting, a voter must provide one of the follow­ing valid forms of photo ID to an appro­pri­ate elec­tion offi­cial:

  • Alabama driver’s license or non-driver ID card issued by the Alabama Depart­ment of Motor Vehicles;
  • Any other photo ID issued by Alabama, any other state govern­ment, or the U.S.;
  • U.S. pass­port;
  • Employee photo ID card issued by Alabama or the U.S.;
  • U.S. milit­ary photo ID;
  • Alabama photo voter ID card;
  • Student or staff photo ID issued by a public or private college, univer­sity, or post­gradu­ate tech­nical or profes­sional school located within Alabama; or
  • Tribal ID card with photo.

Excep­tions Avail­able

An indi­vidual without photo ID may vote only if iden­ti­fied by two elec­tion offi­cials in the polling place as a voter on the poll list who is eligible to vote and the elec­tion offi­cials execute an affi­davit so stat­ing. Other­wise, the voter must cast a provi­sional ballot.

Absentee Voting ID Require­ments

Persons voting absentee must submit copy of proper photo ID. Anyone entitled to vote by absentee ballot pursu­ant to the Uniformed and Over­seas Citizens Absentee Voting Act, the Voting Access­ib­il­ity for the Elderly and Handi­capped Act, or any other federal law shall not be required to produce photo ID when voting absentee.

Free IDs

The Secret­ary of State is required to issue a photo ID to registered voters at no cost. A person must obtain a new photo ID card each time they move within the state.

Public Educa­tion Require­ments

The Secret­ary of State is direc­ted to inform the public of the voter ID require­ment by whatever means they deem neces­sary.

 


ARKAN­SAS

Effect­ive Date: The law was passed, but it is not currently in effect. By its terms, the law would not take effect until 2014 or when the Secret­ary of State has funds avail­able to distrib­ute voter iden­ti­fic­a­tion cards, whichever comes later.

Photo IDs permit­ted

Prior to voting, a voter must show iden­ti­fic­a­tion to the appro­pri­ate elec­tion offi­cial that displays the name and photo­graph of the person intend­ing to vote, and that is issued by the United States, the State of Arkan­sas, or an Arkan­sas post­sec­ond­ary educa­tional insti­tu­tion.  Valid forms of photo ID include:

  • An Arkan­sas driver’s license or photo iden­ti­fic­a­tion card;
  • A United States Pass­port;
  • A Photo Iden­ti­fic­a­tion card;
  • An employee badge or iden­ti­fic­a­tion docu­ment;
  • A Untied States milit­ary iden­ti­fic­a­tion;
  • A concealed hand­gun carry license;
  • A public assist­ance iden­ti­fic­a­tion card;
  • A student iden­ti­fic­a­tion card issued by a State of Arkan­sas post­sec­ond­ary educa­tional insti­tu­tion;
  • A state provided voter iden­ti­fic­a­tion card.

If the iden­ti­fic­a­tion displays an expir­a­tion date, it must not be expired more than four years before the date of the elec­tion the voter is parti­cip­at­ing in.

Excep­tions Avail­able

A resid­ent of a long-term care or resid­en­tial facil­ity licensed by the state is not required to provide proof of iden­tity before voting. You must, however, provide docu­ment­a­tion prov­ing your resid­ency status at such a facil­ity.

Affi­davit Altern­at­ive

A voter listed on the precinct voter regis­tra­tion list who does not provide voter ID can vote by provi­sional ballot. This ballot will be coun­ted if the voter returns to the county board of elec­tions by noon of the Monday follow­ing the elec­tion, and either provides a valid photo ID or an affi­davit provid­ing that the voter is indi­gent or has a reli­gious objec­tion to being photo­graphed.

Absentee Voting ID Require­ments

Persons voting absentee must submit a copy of valid voter ID or a copy of a current util­ity bill, bank state­ment, paycheck, or other govern­ment docu­ment that shows the voter’s name and address. A member of the uniformed or merchant marine service who will be absent on elec­tion day, as well as a spouse of a member of the uniformed or merchant marine service absent for the same reason, does not have to provide voter ID to vote absentee.

Free IDs

The Secret­ary of State is required to issue a photo ID to registered voters at no cost. The iden­ti­fic­a­tion cards will be gener­ated in the offices of the county clerk. To receive a card, a voter  must sign an oath that she does not possess a valid form of ID.

Public Educa­tion Require­ments

None.


KANSAS

Effect­ive date: Jan. 1, 2012

Photo IDs Permit­ted

The follow­ing forms of iden­ti­fic­a­tion shall be valid if the iden­ti­fic­a­tion contains the name and photo­graph of the voter and has not expired. Expired docu­ments shall be valid if the bearer of the docu­ment is 65 years of age or older:

  • A driver’s license issued by Kansas, or by another state or district of the U.S.;
  • A state ID card issued by Kansas, or by another state or district of the U.S.;
  • A concealed carry of hand­gun license issued by Kansas, or a concealed carry of hand­gun or weapon license issued by another state or district of the U.S.;
  • A U.S. pass­port;
  • An employee badge or ID docu­ment issued by a muni­cipal, county, state, or federal govern­ment office or agency;
  • A milit­ary ID issued by the U.S.;
  • A student ID card issued by an accred­ited post­sec­ond­ary insti­tu­tion of educa­tion in the state of Kansas; or
  • A public assist­ance ID card issued by a muni­cipal, county, state, or federal govern­ment office or agency; or
  • An ID card issued by an Indian tribe.[2]

Excep­tions Avail­able

Persons over 65 may use expired docu­ment­a­tion as proof of iden­tity. Addi­tion­ally the follow­ing persons are exempt from the photo ID require­ment:

  • Persons with perman­ent phys­ical disab­il­ity that makes it impossible for them to travel to obtain an ID and have qual­i­fied for perman­ent advance voting status;
  • Members if uniformed service on active duty who, by reason of such duty, are out of the coun­try on elec­tion day or spouse or depend­ent who by reason of the service member are also out of the coun­try;
  • Members of the merchant marine who, by reason of service, are out of the coun­try on elec­tion day or spouse or depend­ent who by reason of the service member are also out of the coun­try;
  • Voters whose reli­gious beliefs prohibit photo ID (such persons must submit declar­a­tion concern­ing such beliefs to secret­ary of state).

Affi­davit Altern­at­ive

There is no affi­davit option for voting without an ID.

Early/Absentee Voting ID Require­ments

Kansas driver’s license number, Kansas nondriver’s iden­ti­fic­a­tion card number or a copy of voter’s photo ID is required for both early voting and absentee voting.

Free ID

Although this law makes avail­able free ID cards for persons requir­ing them to vote, such IDs require an applic­ant to swear under oath that he or she desires an ID to vote in an elec­tion in Kansas and does not possess any accept­able form of ID under the law. The applic­ant must also produce evid­ence that he or she is registered to vote in Kansas.  Pursu­ant to a separ­ate bill, S.B. 129, effect­ive July 1, 2012, no fee will be charged for a certi­fied copy of a birth certi­fic­ate if it is reques­ted by a person over 17 for purposes of voting and such person lacks any of the forms of ID required by H.B. 2067.

Public Educa­tion Require­ments

The secret­ary of state is charged with provid­ing advance notice of the personal iden­ti­fic­a­tion require­ments in a manner calcu­lated to gener­ally inform the public. Minim­ally, the advance notice must include: use of advert­ise­ments and PSA in print, broad­cast tele­vi­sion, radio, cable tele­vi­sion and post­ing inform­a­tion on the open­ing website pages of the secret­ary of state and governor.


MISSIS­SIPPI

Passed Ballot Initi­at­ive

Effect­ive Date: The consti­tu­tional amend­ment takes effect if and when preclear­ance approval by the Depart­ment of Justice or a federal district court is gran­ted for H.B. 921, the enabling legis­la­tion described below.

Photo IDs Permit­ted

Prior to voting, a voter must provide “govern­ment issued photo iden­ti­fic­a­tion.”[4]

Passed Legis­la­tion

Photo ID Required to Vote (Imple­ment­ing Legis­la­tion for Initi­at­ive #27)

Effect­ive Date: Takes effect if and when preclear­ance approval by the Depart­ment of Justice or a federal district court is gran­ted.

Photo IDs Permit­ted[5]

The law requires each voter to present current and valid photo iden­ti­fic­a­tion before voting, which includes, but is not limited to:

  • A current and valid Missis­sippi driver’s license;
  • A current and valid iden­ti­fic­a­tion card issued by the State of Missis­sippi;
  • A current and valid U.S. pass­port;
  • A current and valid employee ID card, issued by the U.S. govern­ment, the State of Missis­sippi, or any state entity;
  • A current and valid Missis­sippi license to carry a pistol or revolver;
  • A valid tribal iden­ti­fic­a­tion card;
  • A current and valid U.S. milit­ary ID;
  • A current and valid student ID, issued by an accred­ited Missis­sippi higher educa­tion; or
  • An offi­cial Missis­sippi voter ID card.

Excep­tions Avail­able

  • A voter with reli­gious objec­tions to being photo­graphed may cast an affi­davit (provi­sional) ballot at the polls, which will count if she visits the regis­trar’s office within 5 days of the elec­tion and executes an affi­davit affirm­ing her reli­gious beliefs.

Early/Absentee Voting ID Require­ments

The photo ID law requires the Secret­ary of State to prepare instruc­tions on how absent voters may comply with the law’s ID require­ments.

Free ID

The Secret­ary of State must nego­ti­ate a Memor­andum of Under­stand­ing between the Missis­sippi Depart­ment of Public Safety and the regis­trar of each county for the purpose of provid­ing a Missis­sippi Voter ID Card free of charge to registered Missis­sippi voters who do not have a valid unex­pired Missis­sippi driver’s license or state ID. The regis­trar will require present­a­tion of one of the follow­ing before issu­ing a Missis­sippi Voter ID Card:

  • A photo ID docu­ment;
  • Docu­ment­a­tion show­ing the person’s date and place of birth;
  • A social secur­ity card;
  • A Medi­care card;
  • A Medi­caid card; or
  • Other accept­able evid­ence of veri­fic­a­tion of resid­ence in the county as determ­ined by the Secret­ary of State.

Public Educa­tion Require­ments

No public educa­tion require­ments are specified by stat­ute.

 


 NEW HAMP­SHIRE

Effect­ive Date: New Hamp­shire’s law was first passed on June 27, 2012, after the legis­lature over­rode a gubernat­orial veto. In 2013, the list of accept­able forms of ID was amended further, and the effect­ive date is now Septem­ber 15, 2013.

Photo IDs Permit­ted

Prior to voting, a voter must provide one of the follow­ing valid forms of photo ID (the name on the ID must be “substan­tially similar” to that of the voter regis­tra­tion record):

  • A driver’s license issued by the state of New Hamp­shire or any other state;;
  • An iden­ti­fic­a­tion card issued by the director of motor vehicles;
  • A United States armed services iden­ti­fic­a­tion card;
  • A United States pass­port or a passcard;
  • Any other valid photo iden­ti­fic­a­tion issued by federal, state, county, or muni­cipal govern­ment;
  • A valid student iden­ti­fic­a­tion card (all student iden­ti­fic­a­tion cards issued after Janu­ary 1, 2014 are required to have a date of issu­ance; in all elec­tions before Septem­ber 1, 2018, student ID cards without a date of expir­a­tion or issu­ance will still be accept­able);
  • A photo iden­ti­fic­a­tion not author­ized specific­ally above, but determ­ined to be legit­im­ate by the super­visors of the check­list, the moder­ator, or the town or city clerk

The ID cannot have expired more than five years ago, except that anyone 65 years or older may use an expired form of iden­ti­fic­a­tion that would other­wise be deemed valid.

Non-Photo IDs Permit­ted

Veri­fic­a­tion of the person’s iden­tity by a moder­ator, super­visor of the check­list, or the town or city clerk is also accept­able.

Affi­davit Altern­at­ive

There is a qual­i­fied voter affi­davit that can be filled out and submit­ted in lieu of present­ing photo iden­ti­fic­a­tion. If the voter submits an affi­davit, the voter can cast a regu­lar ballot and a letter of iden­tity veri­fic­a­tion will be sent by the Secret­ary of State. The letter will be mailed 60 days after the elec­tion, unless it is a primary in which case the letter will be mailed 60 days after the general elec­tion, and if the elec­tion is a regu­larly sched­uled muni­cipal elec­tion, the letter will be mailed by the July 1 or Janu­ary 1 next follow­ing the elec­tion.

The Secret­ary of State will mark the envel­ope with instruc­tions to the U.S. Post Office not to forward the letter and to provide address correc­tion inform­a­tion. The letter will notify the person that someone who did not present valid photo iden­ti­fic­a­tion voted using his or her name and address, and instruct the person to return the letter within 90 days which a writ­ten confirm­a­tion that the person voted, or contact the attor­ney general imme­di­ately. Any letters that are returned as undeliv­er­able or any letters returned saying the person did not vote will be referred to the attor­ney general for an invest­ig­a­tion into fraud­u­lent voting.

Free IDs

The fee for voter iden­ti­fic­a­tion cards will be $10, with excep­tions for people who turn in his or her driver’s license before its expir­a­tion date if they are over 65. A person who requires a photo iden­ti­fic­a­tion card for voting may obtain a voucher from his or her town or city clerk or the Secret­ary of State exempt­ing the person from the fee.

Public Educa­tion Require­ments

The Secret­ary of State will prepare an explan­at­ory docu­ment explain­ing the proof of iden­tity require­ments, and will provide copies of the docu­ment to all towns and wards so it will be avail­able to all persons regis­ter­ing to vote and at polling places at each elec­tion. The Secret­ary of State will take whatever meas­ures he or she deems neces­sary to educate the public includ­ing display­ing the inform­a­tion on the Depart­ment of State’s website, and will provide explan­at­ory inform­a­tion to media outlets that request the inform­a­tion and encour­age such outlets to assist the depart­ment in educat­ing the public.

 

NORTH CARO­LINA

Effect­ive Date: Start­ing in Janu­ary 2014, poll offi­cials will ask voters for a photo ID (and give notice it will be required in 2016) but no photo ID is required to vote until Janu­ary 2016.

Accept­able Forms of ID

Every qual­i­fied voter shall present photo ID bear­ing reas­on­able resemb­lance to that voter to a local elec­tion offi­cial before voting.  “Photo iden­ti­fic­a­tion” means any of the follow­ing that contains a photo­graph and that shall have an expir­a­tion date and be unex­pired, provided that people over 70 may use an expired ID that was unex­pired on their 70th birth­day. For ID (4) through (6), no expir­a­tion date is required if the issu­ance date is fewer than 8 years before it is presen­ted.

  • North Caro­lina driver’s license, includ­ing learner’s permit or provi­sional license.
  • Special non-oper­at­or’s iden­ti­fic­a­tion card
  • Pass­port
  • Milit­ary iden­ti­fic­a­tion card (no require­ment that it have a prin­ted expir­a­tion or issu­ance date)
  • Veter­an’s iden­ti­fic­a­tion card (no require­ment that it have a prin­ted expir­a­tion or issu­ance date).
  • Tribal enroll­ment card
  • A driver’s license or nonop­er­at­or’s iden­ti­fic­a­tion card issued by another state if the voter’s voter regis­tra­tion was within 90 days of the elec­tion.

Exemp­tions from Photo ID Require­ment

  • People who, because of age or disab­il­ity, are permit­ted to use curb­side voting.
  • Reli­gious object­ors who have filed a declar­a­tion at least 25 days before the elec­tion, or who sign declar­a­tion in-person at county board of elec­tions after voting provi­sional ballot.
  • Victims of natural disaster result­ing in disaster declar­a­tion and occur­ring within 60 days of the elec­tion
  • Law contains no affi­davit altern­at­ive.

Provi­sional Ballot Coun­ted if Accept­able Photo ID Later Presen­ted

  • Provi­sional ballot coun­ted if accept­able ID is presen­ted in person at the county board of elec­tions by noon on the day prior to conven­ing of the elec­tion canvass.

Free Photo ID

Registered voters who do not have accept­able photo ID may sign a declar­a­tion to such effect and shall be issued an ID card for free after their regis­tra­tion is veri­fied. Such declar­a­tion, if false or fraud­u­lent, is a Class I felony.

  • Permits chal­lengers to chal­lenge a voter for fail­ure to present photo ID.
  • Expands types of facil­it­ies offer­ing voter regis­tra­tion services
  • Creates Voter Inform­a­tion Veri­fic­a­tion Advis­ory Board to assist in elec­tion admin­is­tra­tion.

proof of resid­ence address.

Public Educa­tion Require­ments

The Elec­tions Director “may advert­ise the avail­ab­il­ity and the use of the [voter ID] card,” but this is not required.


NORTH DAKOTA

Effect­ive Date: August 1, 2013

Voter IDs Permit­ted

All voters must produce a “valid and current”:

  • Valid Driver’s license or nondriver  ID card issued by the Depart­ment of Trans­port­a­tion or other offi­cial form of ID issued by the state;
  • Valid govern­ment-issued tribal ID card
  • An altern­at­ive form of iden­ti­fic­a­tion prescribed by the Secret­ary of State. These include a student iden­ti­fic­a­tion certi­fic­ate (provided by a North Dakota college or univer­sity) or a long term care iden­ti­fic­a­tion certi­fic­ate (provided by North Dakota  facil­ity).

Voting Altern­at­ive

None.

Early/Absentee Voting ID Require­ments

Photo ID require­ments apply to early voting.  For absentee voters, a voter may provide proof of any accept­able form of iden­ti­fic­a­tion, but if the voter does not possess an approved form of iden­ti­fic­a­tion, the applic­a­tion can be signed by another qual­i­fied elector to certify his or her iden­tity.

Free IDs

The Elec­tions Director must make a free voter regis­tra­tion card avail­able to any North Dakota resid­ent who applies and meets all require­ments within 30 days. The elec­tion director may require an applic­ant to prove their identify using a social secur­ity card and proof of resid­ence address.

Public Educa­tion Require­ments

The Elec­tions Director “may advert­ise the avail­ab­il­ity and the use of the [voter ID] card,” but this is not required.


 PENNSYLVANIA

Effect­ive Date: The law was passed with an effect­ive date of March 14, 2012, but it was chal­lenged in Pennsylvania state court and is subject to a prelim­in­ary injunc­tion. Under the terms of that injunc­tion, voters may be asked for photo ID at the polls during the Novem­ber elec­tion but voters lack­ing such ID can still vote a regu­lar ballot.

Photo IDs Permit­ted

Prior to voting, a voter must provide one of the follow­ing valid forms of photo ID:

  • Photo ID issued by the depart­ment of trans­port­a­tion that is not more than twelve months past the expir­a­tion date;
  • Unex­pired photo ID issued by the U.S. govern­ment that includes an expir­a­tion date;
  • U.S. milit­ary photo ID that does not contain an expir­a­tion date, but notes that the expir­a­tion date is indef­in­ite;
  • Unex­pired muni­cipal employee Photo ID that includes an expir­a­tion date;
  • Unex­pired student photo ID from an accred­ited public or private higher educa­tion insti­tu­tion that includes an expir­a­tion date; or
  • Unex­pired photo ID from certain state care facil­it­ies that includes an expir­a­tion date.

Non-Photo IDs Permit­ted

A voter who has a reli­gious objec­tion to being photo­graphed must provide a valid-without-photo driver’s license or a valid-without-photo ID card issued by the depart­ment of trans­port­a­tion. 

Limited Excep­tion for Indi­gent Voters

A voter who is unable to produce the required ID on the grounds that he or she is indi­gent and cannot obtain such ID for free must cast a provi­sional ballot, and provide an affirm­a­tion to the county board within six days, affirm­ing his or her iden­tity and indi­gent status, or the ballot will not count.

Absentee Voting ID Require­ments

An absentee voter who has been issued a current and valid driver’s license must provide his or her license number. An absentee voter who has not been issued a current and valid driver’s license can provide the last four digits of his or her social secur­ity number. A qual­i­fied absentee voter who is entitled to vote by absentee ballot under the Uniformed and Over­seas Citizens Absentee Voting Act or by an altern­at­ive ballot under the Voting Access­ib­il­ity for the Elderly and Handi­capped Act will not be required to provide proof of ID.

Free IDs

The depart­ment of trans­port­a­tion must issue free voter ID cards to any registered voter who provide an affirm­a­tion that they lack the ID the law requires and require ID for voting purposes.

Public Educa­tion Require­ments

Between the effect­ive date of the law and Septem­ber 17, 2012, the photo ID specified in the law will be reques­ted but not required. During this time frame, if any voter who will be required to produce photo ID start­ing on Septem­ber 17, 2012 is unable to produce the photo ID reques­ted, elec­tion offi­cials will provide him or her with writ­ten inform­a­tion about the new law’s require­ments.


 RHODE ISLAND

Effect­ive Date: July 2, 2011. Certain provi­sions effect­ive Jan. 1, 2012 and certain other provi­sions effect­ive Jan. 1, 2014.

Photo IDs Permit­ted

Proper ID is defined as “a valid and current docu­ment show­ing a photo­graph of the persons to whom the docu­ment was issued, includ­ing without limit­a­tion”:

  • Rhode Island driver’s license;  
  • Rhode Island voter ID card (i.e., new, free ID card for voters); 
  • U.S. pass­port;
  • Photo ID from U.S. educa­tional insti­tu­tion; 
  • U.S. milit­ary photo ID ; 
  • Any photo ID card issued by U.S. or Rhode Island; or
  • Govern­ment-issued medical card with photo.

Until Jan. 1, 2014, voters may also prove their iden­tity by show­ing non-photo docu­ment­a­tion, “includ­ing without limit­a­tion”:

  • Birth certi­fic­ate 
  • Social secur­ity card 
  • Govern­ment-issued medical card

Excep­tion avail­able

Any voter without a qual­i­fy­ing photo ID can complete a provi­sional ballot applic­a­tion and cast a provi­sional ballot. If the signa­ture on the provi­sional ballot applic­a­tion matches the signa­ture on the voter regis­tra­tion, then the Board of Elec­tions will count the ballot. 

Affi­davit Altern­at­ive

There is no affi­davit altern­at­ive.

 Early/Absentee Voting ID Require­ments

The photo ID law does not apply to absentee voting. Under exist­ing Rhode Island law, all absentee ballots must be either notar­ized or signed by two witnesses. 

 Free IDs

Rhode Island must start issu­ing free voter ID cards pursu­ant to regu­la­tions yet to be promul­gated by the Secret­ary of State.


SOUTH CARO­LINA

Effect­ive Date: In effect. However, after South Caro­lina sued for preclear­ance in federal court, the restrict­ive­ness of the law was reduced because of a broader inter­pret­a­tion of the “reas­on­able imped­i­ment” excep­tion.

Photo IDs Permit­ted

All voters must produce a “valid and current”:

  • South Caro­lina driver’s license;
  • Any other photo ID issued by South Caro­lina Depart­ment of Motor Vehicles;
  • U.S. pass­port;
  • U.S. milit­ary photo ID; or
  • South Caro­lina voter regis­tra­tion card with photo (i.e., new, free ID card for voters).

*Stu­dent IDs are not accep­ted in South Caro­lina for purposes of iden­ti­fic­a­tion for voting.

Affi­davit Altern­at­ive

Persons with reli­gious objec­tions to being photo­graphed or who have a “reas­on­able imped­i­ment” to obtain­ing a photo ID may cast a provi­sional ballot and submit an accom­pa­ny­ing affi­davit. County Boards of Regis­tra­tion and Elec­tions must find such affi­davits to be valid unless offi­cials have grounds to believe that an affi­davit is false. Affi­davits must confirm the iden­tity of the voter, state that the voter cast a provi­sional ballot, and state that:

  • The voter has a reli­gious objec­tions to being photo­graphed; or
  • The voter has a “reas­on­able imped­i­ment” to obtain­ing photo ID. The voter must identify the imped­i­ment on the affi­davit, unless other­wise prohib­ited by state or federal law. Any imped­i­ment listed will be deemed accept­able

Early/Absentee Voting ID Require­ments

The photo ID law does not apply to mail-in absentee voting.  Under preex­ist­ing South Caro­lina law, to vote absentee, a voter must have a witness attest to his or her signa­ture, and consist­ent with federal law, if a first time voter registered by mail, they must include proof of iden­tity under HAVA with their mail-in absentee ballot.

Free IDs

The State Elec­tions Commis­sion must make free voter regis­tra­tion card avail­able to anyone aged 17 or older who shows a birth certi­fic­ate or “other evid­ence accept­able to the depart­ment of his name and date of birth.”

Public Educa­tion Require­ments

The State Elec­tions Commis­sion must estab­lish an “aggress­ive” voter educa­tion program, includ­ing:

  • Post­ing inform­a­tion at County boards and State elec­tions offices, and on their websites;
  • Train­ing poll work­ers at their mandat­ory train­ing sessions to answer ques­tions from voters;
  • Post­ing docu­ment­a­tion at polling places describ­ing the changes in the legis­la­tion;
  • Conduct­ing at least two county-wide public educa­tion seminars prior to Decem­ber 15, 2011;
  • Conduct­ing addi­tional seminars at the local or statewide levels
  • Placing ads in State news­pa­pers and with local media outlets to dissem­in­ate inform­a­tion concern­ing the changes;
  • Noti­fy­ing each registered voter who does not have State driver’s license or ID card of the provi­sions of this act no later than Dec. 2011.

South Caro­lin­a’s State Elec­tions Commis­sion must create a list contain­ing all registered voters who are other­wise qual­i­fied to vote but do not have a South Caro­lina driver’s license or other form photo ID issued by the Depart­ment of Motor Vehicles as of Dec. 1, 2011. The list must be made avail­able to any registered voter upon request. The Commis­sion may charge a reas­on­able fee for the list.


TENNESSEE

Effect­ive Date: Janu­ary 1, 2012

Photo IDs Permit­ted

Voter must supply “evid­ence of iden­ti­fic­a­tion,” defined as:

  • Tennessee driver’s license;  
  • Valid photo ID issued by State of Tennessee, or U.S., provided that such ID contains a photo­graph; except a student ID card issued by insti­tute of higher learn­ing, which is specific­ally excluded; 
  • Valid non-driver ID card issued by Tennessee Depart­ment of Safety; 
  • Valid U.S. pass­port; or
  • Valid U.S. milit­ary photo ID that contains a photo­graph.

A bill passed in 2013 also specifies that a photo iden­ti­fic­a­tion card issued by a county or muni­cip­al­ity or entity thereof, includ­ing a public library, will not be evid­ence of iden­ti­fic­a­tion for purposes of veri­fy­ing the person’s iden­ti­fic­a­tion on the applic­a­tion for ballot.

Excep­tions Avail­able

The photo ID law does not apply to:

  • Voters in nurs­ing homes who are eligible to vote at their facil­ity per exist­ing law; or
  • Voters eligible to cast an emer­gency absentee ballot due to hospit­al­iz­a­tion under exist­ing law.

Affi­davit Altern­at­ive

A voter who meets the follow­ing condi­tions may execute an affi­davit of iden­tity at the polls on Elec­tion Day and shall be permit­ted to vote:

  • A voter who has a reli­gious objec­tion to being photo­graphed;
  • A voter who is indi­gent and unable to obtain proof of ID without payment of a fee.

Early/Absentee Voting ID Require­ments

The photo ID require­ments apply to all persons voting early. The photo ID law did not change absentee voting rules. Under preex­ist­ing Tennessee law, first-time voters who register to vote by mail cannot vote by absentee ballot; they must vote in person.

Free IDs

  • A voter may obtain a free ID at one of 48 Drivers Service Centers across the state. To obtain the ID, voters must show proof of citizen­ship and two proofs of Tennessee resid­ency.

Public Educa­tion Require­ments

No public educa­tion require­ments are specified by stat­ute.


TEXAS

Effect­ive Date: .On August 30, 2012, federal court preclear­ance was denied on the ground that Texas had failed to meet its burden of show­ing that the law would not have a discrim­in­at­ory effect on minor­ity voters. However, foll­wing the recent Supreme Court ruling in Shelby County, the law is now in effect.

Photo IDs Permit­ted

The follow­ing are accept­able forms of photo iden­ti­fic­a­tion:

  • A driver’s license, elec­tion ID certi­fic­ate, or personal ID card issued to the person by the Depart­ment of Public Safety that is unex­pired or expired no earlier than 60 days before the elec­tion (note: an elec­tion certi­fic­ate issued to a person 70 years or older does not expire);
  • U.S. milit­ary ID card that contains the person’s photo­graph and is unex­pired or expired no earlier than 60 days before the elec­tion;
  • U.S. citizen­ship certi­fic­ate issued to the voter with their photo­graph;
  • U.S. pass­port that is unex­pired or expired no earlier than 60 days before the elec­tion; or
  • A license to carry a concealed hand­gun issued by the Depart­ment of Public Safety that is unex­pired or expired no earlier than 60 days before the elec­tion.

Student IDs are not accep­ted in Texas for purposes of iden­ti­fic­a­tion for voting.

Excep­tions Avail­able

A person may obtain an exemp­tion from the ID require­ment on the basis of disab­il­ity if they produce a state­ment in a form determ­ined by the Texas Secret­ary of State that the applic­ant does not have any of the prescribed forms of iden­ti­fic­a­tion, and they have an:

  • U.S.Social Secur­ity Admin­is­tra­tion determ­in­a­tion of disab­il­ity; or
  • U.S.Depart­ment of Veter­ans Affairs disab­il­ity rating of at least 50%.

Affi­davit Altern­at­ive

A voter without a photo ID may cast a provi­sional ballot, which will count if she signs an affi­davit attest­ing to the fact that she:

  • has a reli­gious objec­tion to being photo­graphed, or
  • does not have an ID as a result of a natural disaster declared by the U.S. Pres­id­ent or Texas’ Governor no earlier than 45 days before the elec­tion and that disaster caused the inab­il­ity to access the voter’s ID.

The affi­davit may be signed at the time the provi­sional ballot is cast or at the time the voter appears before the voter regis­trar within 6 days follow­ing the elec­tion to have the provi­sional ballot coun­ted.

Early/Absentee Voting ID Require­ments

The photo ID require­ment does not apply to absentee voting, includ­ing early voting by mail. Photo ID require­ments apply to all in-person or curb­side early voting.

Free IDs

Texas will issue an Elec­tion Iden­ti­fic­a­tion Certi­fic­ate (EIC) to persons who do not have another qual­i­fy­ing ID for purposes of voting. The applic­ant must present a voter regis­tra­tion certi­fic­ate or register to vote at the time of apply­ing for an EIC. There is no fee for an initial or duplic­ate EIC.

Public Educa­tion Require­ments

The voter regis­trar of each county shall provide notice of the iden­ti­fic­a­tion require­ments for voting and a detailed descrip­tion of those require­ments with each voter regis­tra­tion certi­fic­ate or renewal regis­tra­tion certi­fic­ate he or she issues. In addi­tion, the Secret­ary of State, and the voter regis­trar of each county that main­tains a website, shall provide notice of the ID require­ments for voting in each language in which voter regis­tra­tion mater­i­als are avail­able. The Secret­ary of State shall prescribe the word­ing of the notice to be included on the websites, and shall also conduct a statewide effort to educate voters regard­ing the iden­ti­fic­a­tion require­ments for voting. The county clerk of each county shall post in a prom­in­ent loca­tion at the clerk’s office a phys­ical copy of ID inform­a­tion in each language in which voter regis­tra­tion mater­i­als are avail­able. Finally, the presid­ing judge at each polling place shall post a list of the accept­able forms of ID outside in a prom­in­ent place.


VIRGINIA

Effect­ive Date: July 1, 2014

Voter IDs Permit­ted

Prior to voting, a voter must provide one of the follow­ing forms of ID:

  • Valid Virginia driver’s license or any other ID issued by a Virginia govern­ment agency, one of its polit­ical subdi­vi­sions, or the U.S. govern­ment;
  • Valid U.S. Pass­port
  • Any valid student iden­ti­fic­a­tion card issued by any insti­tu­tion of higher educa­tion located in the Common­wealth of Virginia;
  • Any valid employee iden­ti­fic­a­tion card contain­ing a photo­graph of the voter and issued by an employer of the voter in the ordin­ary course of the employ­er’s busi­ness.

 

This law elim­in­ates the preex­ist­ing option of execut­ing an affi­davit of iden­tity when voting at the polls or apply­ing for an absentee ballot in person, while expand­ing the list of accept­able IDs.

Excep­tions

None.

Affi­davit Altern­at­ive

Any voter who does not show one of the forms of iden­ti­fic­a­tion specified shall be offered a provi­sional ballot marked “ID Only.” In order to have his or her ballot coun­ted, the voter must submit a copy of one of the forms of iden­ti­fic­a­tion to the elect­oral board no later than noon on the third day after the elec­tion.

Early/Absentee Voting ID Require­ments

This law applies to in-person applic­a­tions for an absentee ballot.

Free ID

The State Board must provide each general regis­trar with the equip­ment neces­sary to obtain a voter’s photo­graph and signa­ture, and no general regis­trar shall be required to purchase such equip­ment as his or her own expense. The State Board shall promul­gate rules and regu­la­tions author­iz­ing each general regis­trar to obtain a photo­graph and signa­ture of a voter who does not have one of the forms of ID permit­ted, for the purpose of provid­ing free voter regis­tra­tion cards to such voters. The Depart­ment of Motor Vehicles shall provide assist­ance as required in provid­ing such voter regis­tra­tion cards.

Public Educa­tion Require­ments

No public educa­tion require­ments are specified by stat­ute.


WISCON­SIN

Effect­ive Date:

The law was passed but is not currently in effect. Two Wiscon­sin state courts have issued perman­ent injunc­tions barring enforce­ment of the law. In addi­tion, two chal­lenges to the law are pending in federal court.

Photo IDs Permit­ted

A voter may use one of the follow­ing docu­ments, so long as it is unex­pired or expired after the date of the most recent elec­tion, the name of the indi­vidual to whom the docu­ment was issued (conforms to the indi­vidu­al’s voter regis­tra­tion form), and contains a photo­graph of the indi­vidual:

  • Wiscon­sin Driver’s License;
  • Wiscon­sin ID Card;
  • ID card issued by a U.S. uniformed service;
  • U.S. Pass­port;
  • Certi­fic­ate of U.S. Natur­al­iz­a­tion that was issued not earlier than 2 years before that Elec­tion Day;
  • Unex­pired ID card receipt (i.e., receipt show­ing that the voter applied for a state ID, that unex­pired receipt may be used as proof of iden­tity);
  • ID card issued by a feder­ally-recog­nized Indian tribe in Wiscon­sin; or
  • Unex­pired ID card issued by a Wiscon­sin univer­sity or college that is accred­ited, that contains a date of issu­ance and signa­ture of the indi­vidual to whom it is issued, and that contains an expir­a­tion date indic­at­ing that the card expires no later than 2 years after the date of issu­ance. The student must also estab­lish that he or she is enrolled as a student or univer­sity or college on the date that the card is presen­ted.

Student IDs as they are currently issued by all post-second­ary insti­tu­tions are not accep­ted in Wiscon­sin for purposes of iden­ti­fic­a­tion for voting.

Excep­tions Avail­able

  • Milit­ary and over­seas voters are exempt from provid­ing stat­utory ID when request­ing absentee ballot or voting absentee.
  • A person desig­nated as a confid­en­tial elector (such as a domestic viol­ence victim or police officer) is not required to provide stat­utory ID if the voter has a confid­en­tial voter card issued by Law Enforce­ment Organ­iz­a­tion (LEO).
  • A voter who has surrendered his or her driver license is not required to provide photo ID, but must provide the original copy of the cita­tion or notice.
  • Persons with a reli­gious objec­tion are not exempt from the ID require­ment; however the law provides for such indi­vidu­als to obtain an accept­able ID without a photo­graph.

Affi­davit Altern­at­ive

There is no affi­davit option for voting without an ID.

Early/Absentee Voting ID Require­ments

ID required for both early voting and absentee voting. The follow­ing excep­tions apply to absentee voting:

  • An absentee elector, who has received an absentee ballot from the muni­cipal clerk by mail for a previ­ous elec­tion, has provided a copy of stat­utory ID with that previ­ous absentee ballot, and has not changed his or her name or address since provid­ing stat­utory ID, is not required to provide stat­utory ID with subsequent absentee ballots.
  • An indef­in­itely confined elector may submit a state­ment with the indef­in­itely confined elect­or’s address, signed by the indi­vidual who witnesses the absentee certi­fic­ate envel­ope veri­fy­ing that elect­or’s name and address.
  • Elect­ors resid­ing in a qual­i­fied retire­ment home, qual­i­fied community-based resid­en­tial facil­ity, certi­fied resid­en­tial care apart­ment complex, certi­fied or licensed adult family home where the muni­cipal clerk does not send special voting depu­ties for absentee voting are exemp­ted. Other­wise, these elect­ors may submit a state­ment signed by the indi­vidual who witnesses the absentee certi­fic­ate envel­ope that contains: (1) the certi­fic­a­tion of the author­ized repres­ent­at­ive that the elector resides there; (2) the complex, facil­ity or home is registered or certi­fied as required by law; and (3) the name and address of the elector.
  • When absentee voting is conduc­ted by special voting depu­ties in certain homes, facil­it­ies and complexes, the absentee elector may submit a state­ment with the absentee elect­or’s name and address signed by the special voting depu­ties veri­fy­ing the absentee elect­or’s name and address are correct. The state­ment shall be enclosed in the certi­fic­ate envel­ope. If the elector presents stat­utory ID, the special voting depu­ties shall make a copy and enclose it in the certi­fic­ate envel­ope.
  • A voter who has surrendered his or her driver license is not required to provide photo ID, but must provide the original copy of the cita­tion or notice.
  • A person desig­nated as a confid­en­tial elector (such as a domestic viol­ence victim or police officer) is not required to provide stat­utory ID if the voter has a confid­en­tial voter card issued by Law Enforce­ment Organ­iz­a­tion (LEO).

Free IDs

DOT-issued iden­ti­fic­a­tion cards can be obtained for free (both as initial issu­ances or renewal), if the elector is a U.S. citizen who will be at least 18 on the date of the next elec­tion, and the elector requests that the card be provided without charge for purposes of voting. If there is a reli­gious objec­tion, a card may be issued without a photo­graph.

Public Educa­tion Require­ment

The Govern­ment Account­ab­il­ity Board is required to conduct a public inform­a­tional campaign for the purpose of inform­ing prospect­ive voters of the voter iden­ti­fic­a­tion require­ments the new photo iden­ti­fic­a­tion and proof of resid­ence require­ments. Any voter cast­ing an in-person ballot before the 2012 Spring Primary Elec­tion who cannot produce or refuses to produce photo ID will be given inform­a­tion in writ­ing about the new photo ID require­ments.


[1] For purposes of this memor­andum, “excep­tions” to the photo ID require­ment refers to categor­ies of voters exemp­ted from provid­ing photo ID to vote.  An “affi­davit altern­at­ive” is a proced­ure whereby certain voters without qual­i­fy­ing ID can execute an affi­davit to either obtain a regu­lar ballot or to accom­pany a provi­sional ballot in lieu of provid­ing photo ID. 

[2] This form of ID was added to the list of permit­ted IDs by the passage of S.B. 129, effect­ive July 1, 2012. Notably, although the text of this bill indic­ates that it shall take effect and be in force from and after its public­a­tion in the stat­ute book, the Kansas legis­lat­ive website indic­ates an effect­ive date of July 1, 2012.

[3] See Miss. Sec’y of State, Initi­at­ive # 27: Voter Iden­ti­fic­a­tion (2011), http://www.sos.ms.gov/Elec­tions/Initi­at­ives/Initi­at­ives/Voter%20Iden­ti­fic­a­tion-PW%20re­vised.pdf (last visited Septem­ber 7, 2011). To be clear, Initi­at­ive #27 is not state legis­la­tion, but an initi­at­ive placed on the ballot by voter peti­tion.

[4] Other than “state issued photo iden­ti­fic­a­tion” which will be offered “free of charge from the Missis­sippi Depart­ment of Public Safety” to certain voters, the initi­at­ive does not specify which IDs will be accep­ted.

[5] Notably, the imple­ment­ing legis­la­tion permits a broader range of photo ID to be accep­ted than does Initi­at­ive #27, which requires govern­ment issued photo ID. Whether and how this incon­sist­ency is recon­ciled remains to be determ­ined.

[6] The language, “without limit­a­tion,” suggests that any current photo iden­ti­fic­a­tion that includes the name and photo­graph of the voter will be accep­ted.