State Voting Laws

Legislative Action Center Issues Library

Passing Voter Identification

Voter identification has been a hot topic in state legislatures over the past decade. Since 2001, more than 700 bills have been introduced in 46 states, and 30 states now require some form of voter identification.

Several organizations are working to stop voter identification laws, including the NAACP, the League of Women Voters, and the ACLU. Besides filing lawsuits, these groups are holding meetings and claiming that voter identification suppresses the vote of minorities, the poor, students and the elderly.

Considering that one has to have a photo ID to cash a check, get a hunting license in some states, board an airplane, etc., it is unconscionable how easy it is for ineligible voters to cast a ballot, and sometimes more than one ballot. The NFRW Legislative Committee believes that if we are to keep our elections fair, voter identification (preferably a photo ID) legislation should be passed in all 50 states.

We urge NFRW members in states without these laws to start a campaign now to get a law passed in your state and to have it added as an amendment to your state constitution so that it cannot be easily repealed by the state legislature at a future date.

For states with Democrat majorities in their legislatures, the citizen petition is the best way to address this issue. Each state has different laws for getting questions on their ballots, so members should contact their state attorney general or secretary of state for instructions.

  How does your state measure up?
(Source: National Conference of State Legislatures)

Sample Materials

  Sample Ballot Text
States such as Oklahoma have had the issue of voter identification on their ballots. If states won’t pass a bill in their legislatures, then the people should demand it. Here is the wording of the Oklahoma question:

“This measure amends statutes relating to voter requirements. It requires that each person appearing to vote present a document proving their identity. The document must meet the following requirements. It must have the name and photograph of the voter. It must have been issued by the federal, state or tribal government. It must have an expiration date that is after the date of the election. No expiration date would be required on certain identity cards issued to persons 65 years of age or older.

“In lieu of such a document, voters could present voter identification cards issued by the County Election Board.

“A person who cannot or does not present the required identification may sign a sworn statement and cast a provisional ballot. Swearing to a false statement would be a felony.

“These proof of identity requirements also apply to in-person absentee voting. If adopted by the people, the measure would become effective July 1, 2011.”

  Read the resolution about voter identification passed at the NFRW Fall Board of Directors meeting in 2010.

  Sample Petition [PDF, 1 page]
Source: North Carolina FRW

  Sample Resolution [PDF, 1 page]
Source: North Carolina FRW

Eliminating Same-Day Voter Registration

Another area that needs to be addressed is same-day voter registration, which is legal in several states. There are thousands of invalid votes cast every election in states that allow people to register and vote on the same day. This is something that every citizen should fight to change.

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