What's the difference between voter ID and voter registration?

People are massively confused - in every state. They do not understand that voter ID is different from, and in addition to, voter registration. In most states, it’s not enough to register to vote. You also need an acceptable ID under your state’s voter ID law.

The states run their own elections, so every state’s law is different.

Every state except North Dakota has a voter registration law. Voter registration laws usually require some kind of proof of residency. For a voter to vote in any election, all states except Kansas currently require that a voter attest, under penalty of perjury, that he or she is a citizen of the United States. Kansas, Arizona, Georgia and Alabama have enacted laws that require proof of citizenship to register to vote. Only Kansas is enforcing this law against certain voters; however, the state is continuing to battle federal and state court challenges to the law.

State-by-state information on ID requirements for voting can be found on VoteRiders’ Voter ID page. These voter ID laws range from STRICT (i.e., a voter must show a valid ID under their state’s law in order to cast a regular ballot) to NON-STRICT (i.e., a range of ways a state may require, or poll workers may request, specified types of IDs). State voter ID laws vary in whether they allow only photo IDs, or a mix of photo and non-photo IDs. The only types of identification that are common to all states are that state driver’s license or non-driver’s license state ID, which must be current, i.e., non-expired.

If a poll worker determines a voter does not have a valid ID to vote, such voter should be given a provisional ballot. Whether such ballot will count depends on that state’s law. In some cases, such as Florida, the voter’s signature on the provisional ballot envelope will be compared with the voter registration signature in the state’s records; if the signatures are determined to match, the ballot will be counted. In many states, in order for the provisional ballot to count, the voter must bring acceptable identification under the voter ID law to the county clerk’s or other specified office within a specified period of time, for example, two to six days. For first-time voters in a voting district or county in states, there is also a federal ID requirement to register to vote. VoteRiders’ Voter ID Info wallet cards for the states without a state voter ID law, such as California, show what kind of identification is required.

If you have any questions or need help with your voter ID, please contact VoteRiders at our toll-free bilingual national Hotline: 844-338-8743 or HERE.

VoteRiders’ Voter ID Info wallet cards are available for all 50 states and DC in English and in Spanish.

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