“VoteRiders, a nine-year-old national nonprofit that helps voters obtain proper voter identification, relies on more than 5,800 volunteers to help identify and aid the roughly 40 million Americans who lack government-issued photo identification and may need it to vote. The group works with hundreds of partner organizations and businesses, from local nonprofits to barber shops and beauticians to do outreach for would-be voters who need assistance.
That assistance ranges from simply educating voters about a given state’s different requirements for voter registration versus those for in-person voting, to directly helping a voter obtain the necessary documents to get their identification, to covering the cost of obtaining the necessary identification. It also involves helping voters who have the proper identification, but may simply be confused and intimidated about what they need to do to vote.
‘It’s so time-intensive and resource-intensive to get voters the ID they need,’ said Lauren Kunis, VoteRiders’ executive director. ‘This is the type of work that traditional campaigns are not going to invest their resources in.’
The For the People Act as it currently stands would allow voters anywhere to sign a sworn affidavit, under felony penalty of perjury, that they are who they say they are in lieu of showing whatever identification is mandated by their state.
‘Were that the law of the land, then our job would focus solely on the education and confusion factor rather than all the effort to help people and pay for people to obtain all these documents,’ said Kathleen Unger, founder and president of VoteRiders.”