Do You Need an ID? (Expansive)

Yes. Voters must present a current and valid photo ID or a document, such as a utility bill or paycheck, that bears the voter's name and current address.

Without ID, a voter may cast a "questioned" ballot. Election officials can also waive the ID requirement if they know the voter.

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? (Most restrictive)

After serving their full sentence — prison, parole and probation — felons may apply to have their voting rights restored, unless they have been convicted of a crime involving "moral turpitude."

Can You Vote In Person Before Election Day? (Less restrictive)

Voters may cast ballots in person beginning 15 days before Election Day; they can also submit absentee ballots in person during this time.

Certain elections are held entirely by mail.



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.