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Voter ID requirement

Many states have passed laws that go beyond the federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA) and require additional, unnecessary identification either at registration or voting. These restrictions hinder American citizens’ efforts to exercise their responsibility to participate in elections. These laws include requirements such as proof of citizenship, government-issued photo ID’s, any kind of photo ID, or a broad range of ID’s not necessarily including a photo.

Several of these ID laws have prompted lawsuits from voting rights advocates, because they disproportionately impact the elderly, students, women, people with disabilities, low-income people, and people of color. The resources on this page address the current state of legislation around the country regarding additional identification at voting, summarize recent litigation, and discuss the reasons why additional voter identification is an unnecessary burden designed to address a problem – voter impersonation - that is remarkably rare.


Additional Resources


Policy Paper: Photo ID Laws. Catherine M. Flanagan and Estelle H. Rogers. January 2014.


Voting Matters Blog: Voter ID and Proof of Citizenship

More Links

Citizens Without Proof: A Survey of Americans' Possession of Documentary Proof of Citizenship and Photo Identification. Brennan Cener for Justice. November 2006.

Voter Identification. The Brennan Center for Justice. October 2005.

Seven Alternatives to Voter ID. The Brennan Center for Justice. December 2005.


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