Voter ID Clinics - Guidelines
1. Why are Voter ID Clinics important?
Many voters are unable to obtain a voter ID because they lack the underlying documents required by their state’s voter ID law, such as a birth certificate or their Social Security card. VoteRiders Voter ID Clinics assist eligible citizens in securing these documents so they can secure their voter ID and vote.
2. Why is it necessary to hold Voter ID Clinics months before an election?
Securing the documents for a voter ID (such as a birth certificate that needs to be amended because of misspellings) from their respective government agencies can take months, including possible requests for additional or corrected information.
3. I want to donate but I want to know where my money goes!
100% of your contributions are directed towards our voter ID education and assistance programs, including support of Partner Organizations' Voter ID Clinics. In 2016, our generous Board of Directors and Board of Trustees covered 100% of VoteRiders' administrative and fundraising expenses (just 12.8% of our overall expenses), so that every penny of contributions from regular donors like you went directly to our Partners and programs. VoteRiders is a non-partisan, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to ensure that all citizens are able to exercise their right to vote. Our tax ID EIN is 45-5081831. Donations to VoteRiders are 100% tax-deductible.
4. What are the priority states for VoteRiders Voter ID Clinics?
VoteRiders looks forward to working with Partner Organizations in all states that have a voter ID law. We are focusing especially on the following states that have - or likely will have - laws requiring government-issued photo IDs (or a proof-of-citizenship requirement to register to vote): AL, AR, AZ, FL, GA, IA, IN, KS, MS, NC, ND, NH, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA and WI.
5. What does it mean to be a VoteRiders Partner Organization?
Our Partner Organizations work closely with, and receive support from, VoteRiders to educate and assist voters in their communities, including conducting Voter ID Clinics. There are many ways to collaborate with VoteRiders in protecting the right to vote! If you are considering becoming a Partner Organization and would like more details, please contact us.
Partner Organizations have an on-the-ground grassroots relationship with their constituents or members. Likely the most effective outreach will be through door-to-door, field and telephone canvassing in order to access voters who have questions or need help with their voter ID. VoteRiders is interested in learning how we might assist such existing organizations. For instance, when they are focused on voter registration, they may wish to convey voter ID information including a phone number and website for follow up.
6. What does VoteRiders provide to its Voter ID Clinics Partner Organizations?
VoteRiders provides its Clinic-in-a-Box™ to Partner Organizations: Training Documents and Training Videos for Voter Advocates (trained volunteers who conduct the VoteRiders Voter ID Clinics), for the Clinic Supervisor and for outside pro bono counsel; Marketing Tools, and Guidelines to answer ongoing questions online; plus media exposure for the Voter ID Clinics and initial funding to offset printing and document-procurement costs.
7. What can someone who's not part of a Partner Organization do to help?
You can volunteer to work with a Partner Organization and become a trained Voter Advocate! Voter Advocates conduct Voter ID Clinics as well as reach out to voters wherever they congregate, such as at churches, synagogues, social service agencies and grocery markets. If you’re an attorney, you can become an Attorney Voter Advocate. Check out our list of SEVEN things you can do to make sure every voter is able to exercise their right to vote.
8. What kind of training is involved in being a Voter Advocate?
Volunteers must attend the Partner Organization’s training session,watch the Voter Advocate Training Video, and read through the Training Documents (which will be provided to them by their Clinic Supervisor) in order to assist at a VoteRiders Voter ID Clinic.
9. What is the role of the Partner Organization's Clinic Supervisor?
The Clinic Supervisor coordinates all aspects of the Voter ID Clinic and Voter Advocate outreach, including securing a location and supplies, recruiting and training volunteers, promoting the Voter ID Clinics, as well as communicating with and providing feedback to VoteRiders.
10. Why does a VoteRiders Voter ID Clinic need at least one Attorney Voter Advocate?
While almost all states (plus Puerto Rico and Washington, DC) require an applicant for legal documents to submit photo identification (!), most of those states allow a legal representative to file the application for such requested documents on the applicant's behalf. A copy of the Attorney Voter Advocate’s photo ID can then accompany those applications.
11. How else can Attorney Voter Advocates assist VoteRiders and citizens who need help to obtain their voter ID?
Volunteer attorneys will be trained by VoteRiders through webinars to serve as Attorney Voter Advocates in those communities where Partner Organizations do not yet exist. Click here to learn more.
Voters may also need assistance from an attorney to secure an Amended or Delayed Birth Certificate; the latter refers to those, usually delivered by midwife or were unofficially adopted, who do not have an official birth certificate at all. VoteRiders has a Training Document and Training Video to provide guidance to the lawyer for these types of matters.
12. Why is a Notary Public needed at a Voter ID Clinic?
Several states require signatures on applications for underlying documents to be notarized. An application for a certified copy of a birth or death certificate, marriage license or divorce decree requires a notarized signature in the following states: CA, IA, MD, MN, NH, NM, NYC, OK (not re: death certificate; the relevant County Clerk will advise re: marriage or divorce record), SD, TN, and WI. Each state has a law that specifies what constitutes satisfactory evidence of identification that the voter must present to the Notary.
13. What is a Notary Public?
According to the National Notary Association, a Notary Public is “a responsible person appointed by state government to witness the signing of important documents and administer oaths.”
14. What is included in VoteRiders' media campaign?
To support our Partner Organizations' Voter ID Clinics, VoteRiders will assist in the design and execution of a public awareness campaign that includes both traditional and social media.
15. What marketing tools are provided by VoteRiders?
The VoteRiders Voter ID Clinic Supervisor will have access to downloadable posters and flyers, Voter ID Information Wallet Cards, social media images and other marketing resources. VoteRiders will assist in customizing materials to each Partner and the date, time and location of each Voter ID Clinic. Our Protocols Training Document provides guidance as to where and how Partners may wish to distribute these marketing tools.
16. What kinds of information about the Voter ID Clinics does VoteRiders require from its Partner Organizations?
After the completion of each VoteRiders Voter ID Clinic, Partner Organizations will provide non-personal data from voters’ Intake Forms (e.g., race/ethnicity, veteran status, types of documents needed) and resources used to conduct the Voter ID Clinic (e.g., cost of materials and any paid personnel/services as well as time spent preparing for and conducting the Voter ID Clinic plus follow-up). This information will be helpful for VoteRiders’ and our Partners’ fundraising and media.
17. What should a voter do if he or she wants to attend a VoteRiders Voter ID Clinic?
You should contact the Partner Organization that is conducting the Voter ID Clinic to pre-register. Pre-registration will enable both you and the Partner Organization to know (1) what document(s) you need from which state(s), so the applications can be printed and ready at the Voter ID Clinic; (2) what documents, if any, you may need to accompany your record request(s); and (3) whether your needed document(s) require notarization and, therefore, what types of identifying evidence to bring with you. You may attend the Voter ID Clinic even if you haven’t pre-registered.
18. Does a voter have to pay to get help at a VoteRiders Voter ID Clinic?
Attending a Voter ID Clinic and getting help in obtaining necessary documents is absolutely free. Each Partner Organization will decide whether it or the voter is responsible for the fees required to get the document(s) for a voter ID, such as the cost of a certified copy of a birth certificate.