Do You Need an ID? (Expansive)

A 2011 law tightened ID requirements. Previously, voters did not have to present any documents at the polls. Now, voters must present a voter registration card or a state, federal or tribal-issued photo ID that is not expired and contains the voter's name and photo.

Without ID, a voter may cast a provisional ballot after signing a statement under oath attesting to his identity. Election officials must verify the voter's eligibility before the ballot can be counted.

Do You Need an Excuse to Vote Absentee? (Less restrictive)

No excuse is required to mail in an absentee ballot.

What if You Have a Felony Conviction? (Restrictive)

Felons are prohibited from voting while in prison, on parole and probation.

Can You Vote In Person Before Election Day? (Restrictive)

Voters may cast absentee ballots in person beginning the Thursday before an election until the Saturday before Election Day at 2 p.m.



Absentee Voting Gets Easier

Nearly 17 percent of the U.S. electorate voted by mail in 2012

Voting Early More Often

36 states allow people to vote in person before Election Day

Who Loses the Right to Vote

All but two states have laws that keep felons from voting

Voter ID Laws Gain Momentum

But many are also being challenged in court

Recent Stories

Introducing “Ballot Watch”

Who's allowed to vote? And when? As the November midterms approach, find out how voting laws are changing state-by-state in our interactive database.

Where is Voter Discrimination the Worst?

Voting discrimination persists nationwide, but the worst offenders today are still southern states with a history of blocking minorities' access to the ballot, according to a new study by the National Commission on Voting Rights.

New Voter ID Laws Hit Setbacks

Courts are pushing back against laws in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Shelby decision. Several legal battles are still ahead.