Voter ID

Carding Democracy

In recent years, more and more states—fueled by exaggerated fears of fraudulent voting—have enacted laws requiring that a voter present photographic identification at the polls.


Although details of the laws vary, they all deter otherwise-eligible voters from going to the polls. Those hit hardest are the same groups traditionally marginalized in our election process: African Americans, Spanish speakers, low-income individuals, disabled voters, and youth.

The stated rationale for the measures—preventing voter fraud—is baseless. Photo ID laws prevent only one kind of voter fraud: impersonation at the polling place, in which an individual poses as a particular eligible voter and votes as that person. This sort of voter fraud is extremely rare.

The impact of this “solution” to the phantom problem of voter impersonation is not trifling; millions of dollars must be devoted to implementation, free IDs, and voter education. While photo ID exacts a steep financial cost, disenfranchising our most vulnerable citizens takes an incalculable toll on democracy.

Voter ID bills killed 
in House committee 
on party-line vote

“There was a recent analysis done by Project Vote ... that found that low income citizens, young people and communities of color are most likely to not have a state-used ID,” Elena Nunez, executive director of Colorado Common Cause, told the committee. Read more

New Research Memo Looks at Who in America Has Photo ID

By Michael Slater February 17, 2015

With voter ID a hot-button topic in state legislatures, Project Vote is pleased today to release a new research memo... Read more

Policy Paper: Photo ID Laws

In this policy paper, Catherine M. Flanagan and Estelle H. Rogers look at photo voter ID laws, the concerns with voter ID policies, and litigation challenging strict photo ID laws. Read more

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Legislative Threats and Opportunities Update

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With this new wave of hostility toward the democratic process, we can expect to see fewer viable legislative efforts to modernize election administration, and more egregious efforts to block the vote. Read more

How Voter Fraud Claims Justify Voter Suppression After the Election

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Instead of building safeguards and protecting eligible Americans’ right to vote, these lawmakers and partisans are using the last weeks of 2016 to willfully try to weaken our democracy. Read more

Michigan Tries to Rush Voter ID Through Lame-Duck Session

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Michigan voters are already suffering from an antiquated election system, and the proposed voter ID laws would only make things worse. Read more

Legislative Threats and Opportunities Update

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While advocates and lawmakers have slowly worked over the last 50-plus years to make the democratic process more inclusive, efficient, and modern, the future of voting rights remains uncertain under Trump. Read more

It’s Never Been More Important to Protect the Right to Vote

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The Nation's Ari Berman writes on the ways voting rights groups are combatting voter suppression. Read more

The Truth Behind Wisconsin’s Voter ID Law

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The truth behind Wisconsin’s voter ID law is a thinly veiled effort to keep some citizens from casting a ballot. But Project Vote partners are working to help. Read more

Legislative Threats and Opportunities Update

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While legislative activity has slowed over the summer, the legal battles over election laws are heating up. Project Vote Legislative Director Marissa Liebling discusses the current landscape. Read more

Will the Latino ‘sleeping giant’ wake and vote this November?

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During the past few presidential elections, national media began to speculate on the effect of the Latino electorate and even gave it the moniker “the sleeping giant.” But every year, despite increased potential, it seemed that giant hadn’t yet awakened. Indicators suggest this could be the year... Read more

Voter ID Rulings Serve as a Stark Reminder of Missing Protections in 2016

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Recent court victories against voter suppression just underline the missing protections of the Voting Rights Act in this crucial election year. Read more

As state voter ID laws fall, Florida shines — for now

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At a conference on voting and elections at the University of Florida, officials from the ACLU, NAACP, Project Vote, and the Brennan Center sketched the litigation landscape in 2016. Read more