Many states now require voters to present identification to exercise their right to vote. Without approved identification, millions of potential voters may be forced to submit provisional ballots and could be disenfranchised. Knowing what identification is accepted and how to obtain it is a critical component of voter registration and engagement. This is particularly true for low-income individuals or those experiencing homelessness who may face challenges obtaining or affording the necessary identification.
VoteRiders, a national nonpartisan organization, helps citizens to obtain proper identification so that they can vote in their state. VoteRiders has state-by-state information on voter-ID requirements, including a list of acceptable documents and how to get a voter ID. The VoteRiders state pages include information that may be useful for individuals who are experiencing challenges in obtaining identification. For example, in Alabama, if an eligible voter does not have a valid ID but is positively identified by two election officials, they can so state in a sworn affidavit to cast a regular (rather than a provisional) ballot. In Mississippi, the voter ID can be expired a maximum of 10 years, as long as it was validly issued by federal or state government.
VoteRiders also provides free assistance to any individual who needs to obtain an ID to vote. Their services include help with renewing expired IDs, obtaining information and documents needed to secure your voter ID, and covering the cost of getting to and from ID-issuing offices.